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Dunlop, Ronald Ossary

Ronald Ossary Dunlop (1894-1973) was born in Dublin, Ireland, to a Scottish-Irish-Quaker family. His mother, Eleanor, was a watercolour artist. His father, Daniel Nicol Dunlop, was brought up by his grandfather on the Isle of Arran, before moving to Dublin in 1889 where he became friends with WB Yeats and James Joyce and active in The Irish Theosophical Society. Ronald Ossary Dunlop grew up surrounded by the seminal figures of the Irish Literary Renaissance, together with the theosophical system of ‘essential truth’ underlying religion, philosophy and science. The family spent three years in New York, then returned to London in 1902. They made an annual pilgrimage back to Dublin for Horse Week

Ronald studied at Manchester School of Art (whilst working in an advertising agency), at Wimbledon College of Art and in Paris. He became a prolific exhibitor, venues including the Royal Academy, The New English Art Club, Leicester and Redfern Galleries, The Royal Society of Arts, The Royal Hibernian Academy and the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. He generally signed his work ‘Dunlop’.

He was a conscientious objector and was granted exemption from military service in 1916. He worked on the land in the General Service section of the Friends’ Ambulance Unit.


is first one-man show (1928) was at the Redfern Gallery, London. In 1923 he founded the Emotionist Group of writers and artists, contributing the manifesto “Art is the Expression of the essence of life”, together with a poem and an illustration of one of his paintings. He joined the London Group of artists in 1931. He generally painted in oil and favoured landscapes, seascapes, figure studies, portraits and still life.

He was elected a full member of the Royal Academy in 1950. Dunlop also wrote a number of books on art and painting and an autobiography ‘Struggling with Paint’ (1956).

He lived in England for most of his life, in Suffolk during the early part of the Second World War and latterly in West Sussex, close to Chichester.

His paintings can be seen at the Crawford Gallery, Cork, the Tate Gallery in London, Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum and the National Portrait Gallery, London.


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