Plein Air Exhibition

The Dublin Painting and Sketching Club was founded in 1874, as the Dublin Sketching Club at a meeting in the house of Dr W. Booth Pearsell HRHA. The eclectic group of twelve who met, also included Bram Stoker, Dr William Stokes, President of the RIA, Alexander Williams RHA and Alfred Grey RHA. The Club continued as the Dublin Sketching Club until 2000, when the name was changed to the Dublin Painting and Sketching Club, to better reflect the activities of the Club.

The original members initially met indoors to sketch but eventually decided to sketch and paint ‘en plein air’. Within a couple of years membership had increased and many noted artists of the time became members. These included Nathaniel Hone, Bingham Mc Guinness, John Butler Yeats, Walter Osbourne, and the first female member, Sarah Purser.   By 1876 the Club had commenced holding an annual exhibition.

The ‘plein air’ trips continued as a feature of Club activity and the source of many paintings shown at the annual exhibition.  Outings were held to outlying areas such as Stepaside, on one such trip it was noted they travelled by train to Stillorgan and thence by horse drawn car to Stepaside. Other trips took place to  venues  such as Druids Glen and the Lucan/ Leixlip area.  While many completed the work on these trips, others used them as opportunities to make sketches to be used in later work.

Richard Moynan RHA became a member of the Club in the late 1880s and later he was elected as President. In the spring of 1889 he attended a Club painting trip to Lucan.  It is believed that sketches he made on this trip were used in the composition of his iconic painting ‘Military Maneuvers’, which is held in the National Gallery of Ireland.

The majority, of the current approximately 80 Club members, would primarily be studio painters embracing a wide range of subject matter and styles. However, a significant cohort still enjoy the challenge of painting ‘en plein air’ and form the Club ‘Plein Air Group’. They maintain the early tradition of the Club by meeting to paint outdoors in the summer months.   The work on show is of paintings by some members of this group.

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