This fun statue of Oscar Wilde, laying back without a care in the world is in Marrion Square, Dublin. He is facing his boyhood home just across the street at 1 Merrion Square.
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde, was born in nearby Westland Row in 1854. Wilde, who spent much of his adult life in England, is regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest literary figures. Until the late 1890s, owing to a gay affair which led to a prison sentence and disgrace, he was the darling of the upper classes, entertaining them with his considerable wit and lively conversation.
The statue was commissioned by the Guinness Ireland group for 45,000 pounds. It was unveiled in 1997. The sculptor was Danny Osborne. Merlin Holland, Wilde’s grandson was the model used for the sculpture’s head.
The sculpture is carved from a variety of colourful semi precious stones from many parts of the world. Green nephrite jade from Canada, white jade from Guatemala, pink thulite from Norway, black granite from India and blue pearl granite. The boulder on which the figure reclines is granite from the nearby Wicklow Mountains.
The two pillars which flank Oscar Wilde on both sides are used to set out his thoughts,opinions, witticisms on art and life. These quotes were selected by a mixture of poets, public figures, artists, and scientists, who use Wilde’s own words to pay tribute to him.
Danny Osborne was born in Dorset, England in 1949. He now resides in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada and Cork, Ireland. Osborne studied at Bournemouth & Poole College of Art. He is best known for his public sculptures, particularly this Oscar Wilde Memorial, listed by The Irish Times as one of the sites to see before you die. Osborn is also known for his paintings of the Canadian Arctic and his experimentation with lava flows to create sculptures. He is believed to be the first to figure out a process of casting sculpture out of live lava flows. His work has included lava casted sculptures from the active complex volcano Pacaya.
On the top of these two pillars are Dionysus and Constance. Male and Female. With Oscar in the middle – the perfect triangle.
“The bronze torso of Dionysus stands on the pillar of Art. Oscar had a plaster cast of a statue of this god in his study in Tite Street, London, associating this image not only with wine and youth but also with drama. Because it is fragmented, the sculpture represents not any particular body, but the unattainable or lost ideal that is Art.
On the pillar of life, kneels the figure of Constance, 6 months pregnant, her hands cradling the life she is carrying, gazing across the path over her shoulder at Oscar. It is significant that Oscars first homosexual encounter occurred when she was at this stage of pregnancy with her second child. Here the figure is complete and realistic, and represents the tyranny of fact, and Oscar is not looking at her but beyond her.” From Danny Osbornes website.
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