'Merrion Row from the Shelbourne Hotel, St Stephen's Green'

Walter Osborne, ‘Merrion Row from the Shelbourne Hotel, St Stephen’s Green’, c.1895

Walter Osborne (Dublin 1859 – 1903 Dublin) 
Merrion Row from the Shelbourne Hotel, St Stephen’s Green c.1895

Graphite on paper
Purchased, 1903
NGI 2545

‘Lenehan walked as far as the Shelbourne Hotel, where he halted and waited. After waiting for a little time he saw them coming towards him and, when they turned to the right, he followed them stepping lightly in his white shoes, down one side of Merrion Square.’
Two Gallants p.66*

Lenehan, a cager and social hanger-on, takes a walk through central Dublin, while waiting to rejoin his friend Corley, who has an assignation with a young woman. Lenehan spies the couple as he waits outside the Shelbourne Hotel, a grand building designed by John McCurdy in 1865. In Osborne’s carefully observed sketch a well-dressed trio advance towards the hotel along the footpath.


*Please note: page numbers cited in the labels refer to The O’Brien Press 2012 edition of Dubliners by James Joyce, published to coincide with the ‘One City, One Book’ festival 2012. This edition is for sale in the NGI Shop.

Find out more about the Dublin: One City, One Book festival, an initiative of Dublin City Public Libraries