Augustus Nicholas Burke (March 2021)

While I am of Italian descent, every March for one day, I am Irish.  I celebrate the food and culture and claim it to be my own.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Augustus Nicholas Burke, my artist for March, was born in 1828 in County Galway. A regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy in London and the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin,  Augustus was the sixth son of William Burke of Knocknagur descended from William the Conqueror.

From an early age, he showed an interest in drawing.  His early sketches were of his local environment, Connemara. While he traveled extensively, his love of his native land had a lasting influence on his work and many of the faraway places he chose to paint resembled Connemara.  He especially loved the people and the landscape of Connemara as shown in his painting “Connemara Girl” below.

Connemara Girl painting by Augustus Nicholas Burke shows barefoot young girl in hooded cloak and skirt holding a bundle of grasses. On rugged hillside with sea behind, a billy goat on either side of her
Connemara Girl by Augustus Nicholas Burke (1838-1891) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The painting “On the Banks of the Liffey, Kildare, August” (below) demonstrates Burke’s interest in atmospheric lighting and reflections on water.  Watering cattle was one of his favorite subjects. Burke passed away in 1891 at the age of 53.

Cows lying on a river bank, three in foreground, several further back on elevated hillside, water in foreground


I LOVE art history, preservation and interpretation. I’d love to hear from you, if you have thoughts of your own to share. Feel free to message me or comment.