A noted portrait and figure painter, influenced by both Romanticism and Realism, Seán Keating was an Irish nationalist painter who executed several iconic images of the Irish Civil war era, and of the ensuing period of industrialisation. One of the great exemplars of representational painting in Ireland, Keating was an intellectual artist in that he set out to depict the birth and development of the Republic of Ireland, and his pictures are deliberately idealised even heroic. However, he held very conservative views about art – verging on the academic style – and was a committed defender of traditional Irish painting, considering much modern art to be illusory.
Painting: Seen Keating, On the Run, War of Independence, 1921, The Art of a Nation exhibition, Mall Galleries, London
Painting: Seen Keating, Men of the South, 1921-22, The Crawford Art Gallery, Cork city