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Oscar Wilde Memorial Sculpture
Oscar Wilde Statue (4503030408).jpg
The statue of Wilde in 2010
Artist Danny Osborne
Year 1997 (1997)
Medium
  • Granite
  • charnockite
  • jadeite
  • nephrite jade
  • porcelain
  • quartz
  • thulite
Subject Oscar Wilde
Location Dublin, Ireland
Coordinates 53°20′27″N 6°15′02″W / 53.34080°N 6.25056°W / 53.34080; -6.25056Coordinates: 53°20′27″N 6°15′02″W / 53.34080°N 6.25056°W / 53.34080; -6.25056
Dionysus
Dionysus - Oscar Wilde companion piece.jpg
The Dionysus statue in 2018
Medium
  • Bronze
  • granite
Subject Dionysus

The Oscar Wilde Memorial Sculpture is a collection of three statues in Merrion Square in Dublin, Ireland, commemorating Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde. The sculptures were unveiled in 1997 and were designed and made by Danny Osborne.

History

English sculptor Danny Osborne was commissioned by the Guinness Ireland Group to create a statue commemorating Oscar Wilde, which was unveiled in 1997, by Wilde's grandson Merlin Holland. The initial budget of IR£20,000 was later increased to IR£45,000. Since marble alone was deemed inadequate, the statue was formed from different coloured stones from three continents. The torso is of green nephrite jade from British Columbia, Canada, and pink thulite from Norway. The legs are of Norwegian Blue Pearl granite with the shoes being black Indian charnockite and finished with bronze shoelace tips. The statue also wears a Trinity College tie made from glazed porcelain, and three rings – Wilde's wedding ring and two scarabs, one for good luck, the other for bad luck.

The statue is mounted with Wilde reclining on a large quartz boulder obtained by Osborne himself from the Wicklow Mountains. The sculpture also includes two pillars flanking the boulder with one pillar having a representation of Wilde's wife Constance Lloyd on top. The other one has a male torso representing Dionysus, the Greek God of drama and wine, atop it. Both flanking sculptures are in bronze and granite, and both pillars have inscriptions from Wilde's poems carved onto them. The inscriptions of the quotes copy the personal handwriting of figures including Seamus Heaney, John B. Keane and Michael D. Higgins.

Three people, living at the time near to the artist's West Cork studio, posed as models for the three sculptures.

When the statue was unveiled in 1997, it was the first statue commemorating Wilde, who had died 97 years earlier. It received near unanimous praise for the materials used and for its location near his childhood home at 1, Merrion Square. In 2010, the porcelain head of Wilde had to be replaced because cracks were forming on it. The porcelain head was replaced by a new one made of white jadeite.

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