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Paintings by D H Osborne, artist
Brush and pan
rocks at Portavogie
Portavogie beach

D H Osborne Artist
1919 -2016

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Dennis Osborne was a considerable artist, whose legacy is a great body of work, drawn and painted over six decades.  He saw the world in terms of wishing to express it and show how his response.  Dennis saw beauty and interest in all aspects of visual stimulus, colour, shape, form and the interrelationship of objects.  Welcome to world that was D.H Osborne

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Public Collections

Ulster Television, Belfast
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland
National Self-Portrait Collection, Ireland
Lisburn Museum
Dept Of the Environment, N.Ireland
Bar Library, Belfast
N.Ireland Civil Service
Royal Ulster Academy

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Group Exhibitions

1950 New English Art Club, London

1951 The Royal Academy

1954,55,57 The Ontario Society of Artists

1957 Montreal Museum of Fine Art

1958 Winnipeg Art

1959 Ontario Society of Watercolourists, Brooklyn Museum

1962 Ulster Museum, Open Painting Exhibition

1963,64,65 Irish Exhibition of Living Art, Dublin

1967 Queens University, Belfast, Duchas Exhibition

1982 National Self Portrait Collection, Limerick

1987,88 Queens University Belfast, Festival Exhibition

1998 The Royal Hibernian Academy

1995 The Arts Club Gallery, Belfast

1997-2016 The Royal Ulster Academy

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Dennis had a life less ordinary, and also showed us the ordinary in a less ordinary way

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Dennis the man and painter

Dennis Henry Osborne, one of five children, was born in Portsmouth on 23 December 1919, to a Royal Naval family. His father, Ernest Edward Osborne was a pioneer submariner in the WW1 and rejoined in WW2 as a naval ratings instructor.  Dennis, along with two of his brothers and his only sister, also served in WW2 with the Royal Artillery.

 A Dunkirk Veteran, he was captured in North Africa in 1941 and shipped to a prison camp in the Dolomites, Italy.   In 1943, Dennis escaped with a fellow comrade and spent 6 months living in an Italian mountain village, sheltered by locals until recapture.   Dennis wrote a charming  novella, ( Soft Peach in a Hard Can), which is a frank and funny memoir of the time from when he enlisted in the army, until recapture in the mountain village in Italy. After this recapture, Dennis was transported on foot across the Brennar Pass to Germany and eventually to the working camp, Staleg 8C,in Poland.  Liberated by Americans and demobilised in 1946, Dennis was convinced that he wanted to fulfill his potential as an artist.  It was this blossoming talent that kept him in small items of comfort during the war. He often drew pictures of prison guards sweethearts from their photographs to gain a scrap of food or half a cigarette.

After the war, Dennis enrolled at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts.  It was here that he was taught and influenced by teachers who were the leading members of the pre-war Euston School of painting, (William Coldstream, Victor Passmore, John Minton, W.T Monington).

It was during this time that Dennis met the young and beautiful painter from Northern Ireland, Jean Meikle, who had been a protege of the painter Paul Nietsche.  At Camberwell from 1948, she was very much under the influence of John Minton, but was living in penury in London until Dennis took her under his wing.  Their shared passion led to a happy partnership and marriage.   The couple moved to Canada in 1952, just after Dennis had spent a year living in Donegal.  During this time he was offered accommodation at Glenveagh Castle in the gate lodge by the owner, Henry Plumer McIlhenny, and painted a large mural in the parochial hall in Milford, near Letterkenny.

In Canada the couple painted and built up their reputations.  However Jean's health started to fail and they returned to N.Ireland in 1959 with their infant daughter Moya.  During the ensuing 6 years and with Jean's terminal illness diagnosed, Dennis began his long association with Lisburn, Co Antrim, both teaching art and painting,  ( see Irish Linen Centre and Museum Dennis H Osborne Artist: An appreciation).

In 1965 Jean died and was robbed of the wider recognition that Dennis felt she deserved.

Dennis stopped painting just short of his 90th birthday but never lost his capacity to captivate his devoted family and close friends with tales from his long and remarkable life.  His second wife, Maureen, predeceased him in 2014 and he died on 10 May 2016 in Movilla Nursing Home, Newtownards. Today his many paintings are held in Public Collections and private collections and galleries. 

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The Studio Collction

I have provided a snap shot of some of the painting that were part of the Dennis H Osborne studio collection.  They are a mixture of family portraits, (some never seen before), sketches, watercolours and the last paintings he did in his long career along with family collections.
If interested in viewing many other of the works we have or possibly acquiring a work of art contact us through the website or>uk where there is a shop selling paintings from both Dennis and Jean Osborne

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