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Game of Checkers
Artist Aloysius O'Kelly

Aloysius O'Kelly lived from 1851 to 1926, around Dublin, Ireland.

  • The Irish born artist Aloysius O'Kelly had virtually been forgotten in Ireland as he had immigrated to the USA. Later on in life he began an interest in art and from that period had been reborn.

  • ca. 1875, O'Kelly moved to Paris to study under Bonnet and Gérôme at the École des Beaux-Arts and was therefore one of the first Irish artists in Brittany, which offered the young artist picturesque villages, attractive fishing ports, splendid local costume and a dramatic, rugged coastline as wonderful subjects for his paintings.

  • Game of checkers artist Aloysius O'Kelly exhibited his Breton scenes in Dublin and London in the late 1870's and again in the mid 1880's.

  • O'Kelly's painting varied in subject, manner and quality that no definitive style could be easily associated with his work and for the same reason, it was rather difficult to establish a chronology within his artwork.

  • Aloysius O'Kelly's paintings of the 1880's reflected variations of themes in Realism and plain air scenes in the 'square brush' style; however, some of his work also depicted Pre Raphaelite subjects and light 'impressionistic' harbor scenes.

  • At other times, O’Kelly would revert to somber, heavy moods in scenes with black shadows that were reminiscent of Verlat or he would depict academic Egyptian subjects with the precise draftsmanship of Gérôme; it was almost as if the artist chose a style that reflected both the theme and mood of the composition he wanted to portray.

  • There was an odd dichotomy in the Irish artist’s work for some of his paintings were skilful and sensitive while others were rather awkward or heavy handed.

  • In the mid 1880's, Aloysius O'Kelly traveled to Egypt where he painted genre scenes of bazaars, mosques, streets and deserts in Cairo and the surrounding area and these themes were reflected in his paintings during the following years.

  • ‘The Draughts Players’ (The Checkers Players) of 1889 clearly depicted this motif where he portrayed each game of checkers player in a pose relevant to the game around the checkerboard; he also used a recession from finely modeled and richly highlighted figures in the foreground to the shadowy, somber tones of the background creating both depth in the composition and a focus on the checkers game.

  • The warm colors of the traditional clothes, set off by rich whites and the delicate patterning of the carpet complemented the mood of the leisurely motif and created an image of casual moment in time during this historical period in Egypt.

  • The Draughts/Checkers Players by O'Kelly
    The Draughts/Checkers Players,
    by artist Aloysius O'Kelly.

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    DeerLake Online Store Items

    Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
    When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

    Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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