The only painting that Michael Collins sat for while alive in Dublin

The only painting that Michael Collins sat for while alive in Dublin

This life-size painting is the only painting which Michael Collins sat for in Dublin while he was alive.Leo Whelan, RHA, painted it as part of a commission to paint the 13 members of new Free State Provisional Government cabinet in a collective picture which now resides in the stairwell of the West Wing of the National Museum. Following the truce ,there were prescient concerns that many of the leaders in Government might not survive the impending Civil War. Collins sat twice for this painting in Whelan's 64 Dawson Street Studio on the 17th and 20th February 1922. It is a blessing that just shortly after the Treaty Debates and as the country was descneding into Civil War that Collins found the time to sit for such a great artist as Whelan in hid studio.  While nobody could have envisaged  the enormous loss of this gigantic leader of the new Free State just a few months later, it is some solace that we have such a wonderful painting of him to contemplate  A picture showing the dates Collins sat for the painting and written on the back of the original painting by Leo Whelan is shown inset below.

It was not intended to be a stand alone portrait however following his death in August 2022 the painting took on a life of its own. My grandfather and father purchased it in the mid-1950's to prevent it leaving the country for the US. There are no paintings to equal the depth of his personality which this remarkable life-size study of Collins captures. With its deep colours and his enomous personality coming through it's like being in the same room as Collins during this troubled period in Irish history. The painting hung in the piano showrooms of Walton's Music Shop, in North frederick Street for the best part of seventy years and still remains with the Walton family. 

I've produce a short 4 minute video on the painting which you can view on this link:

To mark the centenary of his death each of these 250 limited edition paintings has been digitally reproduced on high quality canvas which sits within a superbly finished choice of frames. Each picture comes with a numbered limited edition certificate from The Walton Collection. This is the first time this painting has been reproduced on canvas and they come with a choice of frame. There are also limited editions three-quarter size and half-size versions to suit those with less space or a tighter budget. 

It's really brilliant to be associated with this immense leader from our revolutionary history and to now be able to bring this wonderful portrait to a wider audience. We do hope you like the selection of Collins paintings and memorabilia, and the styles in we have framed them, which you can now view on our website at

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