Walter Frederick Osborne (1859-1902, Irish)

Self Portrait, William Frederick OsborneWalter Frederick Osborne (1859 –1903, Irish) was born in Dublin the son of a successful animal painter who specialized in depicting horses and dogs of the wealthy. Osborne followed in his father’s footsteps and often painted portraits with animals, in particular cats. His painting, A New Arrival, 1885, features a young middle-class girl feeding a cat. By fulfilling such commissions, he was able to earn a living.

Osborne was an Impressionist/Post-Impressionist portrait and landscape painter, best known for his documentary depictions of the 19th century working class, many of his works focusing on women, children, the elderly, the poor in both rural and urban settings.

In 1881-1882, he won the Taylor Prize. Osborne attended the Académie Royale des Beaux Arts in Antwerp. After spending some time in rural Brittany, he was exposed to the style of the Impressionists and was influenced by Berthe Morisot.  

Walter Frederick Osborne (1859 – 1903, Irish) - A New Arrival, 1885

A New Arrival, 1885

In 1903, while gardening, he became overheated and caught a chill which he neglected. It developed into pneumonia, and he died in 1903 at age 43. He is buried in Mount Jerome Cemetery.

Cats in art, famous cat paintings

Osborne is viewed as a major Irish artist. His works can be found in the National Gallery of Ireland.

Walter Frederick Osborne (1859 – 1903, Irish) - Small Girl With A Cat


The Card Builders, Cat in Background, Walter Frederick Osborne


Cat and Kittens Painting - Walter Frederick Osborne


Want to know more about cats in art, history and literature? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for you. Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 



Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats


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