The gifted Irish watercolor painter John Faulkner was born in Dublin and studied drawing and painting at the Royal Dublin Society School. His precocious talent led him to begin exhibiting at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) in 1852 when he was only 17. He was elected an RHA academician at 26 and also exhibited at the Royal Academy (RA) in London.
Faulkner’s earliest landscape painting depicts scenes of south Co. Dublin and the Wicklow coast. He had a particular skill at capturing the soft dampness of the Irish climate as can be seen in his watercolor of Slievemore, Achill Island. He painted in oils as well as watercolors. At 25, he was sharing a studio in Henrietta Street with his fellow Irish artist Patrick Vincent Duffy. Not long afterwards he went to Scotland, where he painted both mountain landscapes and those on the western seaboard in Argyllshire.
He returned to Ireland in the late 1860s only to have his membership of the Royal Hibernian Academy cancelled for reasons which remain unclear, although according to his contemporaries Faulkner’s habits and lifestyle were chaotic and irregular. However, he returned to exhibiting at the RHA in 1880, and continued until 1887.
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