One degree of separation from Leader to Cezanne

Anne Sheridan


Anne Sheridan

WHAT connects the Limerick Leader newspaper with the post-Impressionist French painter Cézanne?

WHAT connects the Limerick Leader newspaper with the post-Impressionist French painter Cézanne?

The answer is Raheen artist Sadhbh Lyons, who was so taken with one of the works by the famous 19th century artist, that she decided to recreate it with a Limerick twist - and with it put this newspaper, literally, in the frame.

In 1866 Paul Cézanne painted a portrait of his father, Louis Auguste Cézanne, reading the ‘L’Événement newspaper, which now hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

Fast forward 145 years, and this Limerick mother of two has in the words of her son Eoghan - who brought her work to our attention - “Limerickized it”.

After retiring from the Health Service Executive last Christmas Sadhbh returned to her love of painting, and hopes to set up a photographic studio and gallery with her son Eoghan, 26, a photography student in Limerick College of Further Education.

The artist, who is a keen fan of painters such as Cézanne, Degas and Jack B. Yeats, said it was the colours and tones in this work which caught her eye.

“I started art classes again and began to look around for things of local interest. You would see these visions years ago of young lads reading the newspaper so I just decided to make it my own. I said who wants to be looking at someone reading a French paper,” she explained, and duly inserted the Leader instead.

In the end, it took just five hours to complete the acrylic on stretched canvas painting.

“I painted years ago, but I’m trying to devote myself full time to it now. I love retirement and painting, and the freedom to do things at your own pace.”

She has attended painting courses in the National College for Art and Design in Dublin and in Dundrum VEC where she later went on to teach evening art classes. She has also exhibited and sold paintings in Merrion Square in the early 1990s. She continues to attend art classes in Limerick under Moira O’Reilly at Raheen Art Studios and Jean Ryan’s Art Studio in the city, and paints daily in her own studio.

The work in question by Cézanne is said to depict his uneasy relationship with his father, a banker who was unimpressed by his son’s desire to become a painter.

Also, the newspaper is not the journal that his father habitually read. It was in L’Événement that Cézanne’s boyhood friend Emile Zola had published favorable reviews of painters like Gustave Courbet and Manet.

This oil on canvas was bought by the Washington gallery in 1970, from the Hector Brame gallery in Paris.

More of Sadhbh Lyons’ work is available to view and buy at