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Jean Osborne


Jean was a vibrant and beautiful Irish girl that Dennis met and fell in love with at Camberwell School of Art.  Jean had won a scholarship to attend Camberwell School of Art, after studying at Belfast Art School.  She was at that time, a protege of the artist Paul Nietsche but soon became under the influence and guidance of John Minton.  At first Jean stayed in impoverished lodgings near Victoria Station until she met Dennis.  He often reminisced how this very young beautiful red haired girl, turned up one day at the life drawing class.  He quickly pulled up a chair for her and very soon took her under his wing. Dennis being from London was able to source more suitable accommodation for Jean and within weeks fell hopelessly in love with her.  They were married soon after.  It was however a grim and grey world after the war and politically the couple found less of a welcome back in N Ireland.  It was with this background that encouraged Dennis to consider moving to Canada, where his eldest brother and sister were already living.  Jean was not so convinced about this move and this sparked a brief period of separation of the couple with Jean endeavouring to make her own way, living and painting in Belfast.  However after some months, Jean did join Dennis and they lived and painted in Canada through the 50s.  Both achieving recognition for their work.  However tragedy struck with Jean starting to suffer from failing health.  She said once to a close friend that she had a message from the grave that she was to return home to die.  it was a couple of years after that premonition that the couple did decide to return to N Ireland.  They sought much needed medical advice and the grim news was received that Jean was terminally ill.  She died at the age of 39 after a brave fight which lasted 5 years.

Dennis always said, that of the two of them, Jean was the better painter and he was always saddened that his beloved girl never lived long enough to reach her full potential and recognition. 

Jean Osborne: Intro
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