Monthly Archives: September 2016

The “Sketcher”

It was not long before Paul Henry and his wife Grace settled into Island life, although it took a little time for them to learn the customs peculiar to the area. In the early days he had become known as the “Sketcher” and local people began to avoid him. Not knowing what he had done to upset people he asked advice of the local nurse.

“Even then I did not realise the reason for this, and it was left to my good friend Nurse Comerford to explain to me that my making drawings of the people was bitter resented. Then I saw where I stood. I had come up against one of the oldest superstitions world, he belief that something of the sitter entered into the drawing.”

Postcard photograph of Keel Village Postmarked 1910. From Valentine series.

Postcard photograph of Keel Village Postmarked 1910. From Valentine series.

This proved a problem for Henry as his livelihood was dependent of providing a London publication with sketches of anything that would be of interest to them. Luckily for him Emily Weddall made it her business to befriend him Emily  took him and his wife Grace under her wing and introduced them around.

Sources
Keel village in 1910 this is one the sights that inspired Paul Henry Reproduced with kind permission of Mayo Public Library, Castlebar.
An Irish Portrait, Paul Henry’s Autobiography, 1951. P 53