Kasimir Dunin-Markievicz (1874-1932)
The Artist's Wife, Constance, Comtesse de Markievicz (1868-1927), Irish Painter and Revolutionary
Oil on canvas, 205 x 91 cm
Constance Gore-Booth studied art in London and Paris, and in 1900 married Count Dunin-Markievicz, a Polish aristocrat and artist. In 1903, the couple came to live in Dublin, where Constance developed a keen interest in nationalist politics. She became a member of Inghinidhe na hÉireann and Sinn Féin and worked closely with James Connolly, helping to feed the workers during the 1913 lock-out in Dublin. She subsequently joined the Irish Citizen Army and took part in the Easter Rising in 1916. She was sentenced to death for her part in the rebellion, but this was commuted on account of her sex. In 1918 she became the first woman to be elected to the British parliament by winning a seat for Sinn Féin in Dublin. She opposed the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 and was a founder member of Fianna Fáil in 1926. This portrait is unusual in that it portrays the Countess as a society belle which is at odds with later portraits of her in uniform.
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