Robert Ryan

Robert Ryan graduated from Limerick School of Art and Design in I987 and worked in Copenhagen and London before returning to Ireland in 1994. He has been selected to exhibit at EV+a and his work is regularly featured at annual exhibitions of the Royal Hibernian Academy and the Royal Ulster Academy.

Ryan paints evocative landscapes inhabited by generic dog-like creatures. He has cultivated hybrid, non-speci?c images of both place and its inhabitants, so that the viewer is left with allegories that celebrate the commonality between mankind and all other creatures.

Hunt Museum

Mother with Dead Young


Oil on board
18 x 22 cm

Living in the countryside, surrounded by animals has hugely informed my work. I have always been particularly fascinated by the vital nurturing bond between a mother and its young. In the spring of every year I witness the sel?ess dedication that a mother shows her offspring.  But nature can be cruel and it is very moving to observe when that bond is severed by death.

Mother with Dead Young, with loss as its central concept, is a response to a pietà by the distinguished eighteenth-century Meissen modeller, J.J. Kändler in the Hunt Museum (JB 009). In creating the image, I was reminded of a painting that I saw several years ago at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne by the Danish artist, August Friedrich Albert Schenck. The highly charged piece entitled Anguish depicted an animal protecting its dying young from scavengers. 

Limerick Museum

Forgotten Soul


Oil on board
18 x 22 cm

Forgotten Soul is a response to a Red Deer skull from the collections of Limerick Museum (LM 1982.0062). Looking at a skull I am reminded of a life once lived.

The concept behind the painting is to connect the past with the present, the living with the dead. On this barren landscape a mother and her young are oblivious to their own mortality.