By: Robert O’Byrne
‘The essential book about the brief but extraordinary life of a legendary Edwardian art dealer and philanthropist, his determination to establish a gallery of modern art in Dublin, and its bitterly contested outcome. Writing with authority and verve, Robert O’Byrne has plumbed a rich vein of social history and connoisseurship, to draw a striking portrait of a complex, brilliant and contradictory personality.’ R. F. FOSTER
Available for the first time in paperback, Robert O’Byrne’s landmark biography of Hugh Lane remains the essential work on this enigmatic art dealer and patron.
From his birth in Cork in 1875, to London, South Africa and Dublin, Hugh Lane is primarily remembered for establishing Dublin’s Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, the first known public gallery of modern art in the world. He never married and, though rumoured to have been homosexual, never had a documented relationship with a man. He was also a person of great social energy who befriended and sometimes crossed swords with the leading cultural figures of his day: Yeats, Gregory, Orpen, Augustus John, Rodin, Beerbohm, and many others.
Robert O’Byrne writes with clarity and insight about a man who, since his untimely death on R.M.S. Lusitania in 1915, has been something of a mystery.