James Arthur O'Connor, Irish, 1792-1841
Title: The Poachers
Date: 1835
Medium: Oil on canvas
55.5 x 70.5 cm
Signed: lower right: J.A. O'Connor, 1835
Credit Line: Purchased, 1879
Object Number: NGI.18
DescriptionThe Poachers is among the finest of O'Connor's moonlit landscapes. It is studied with great care and features a subtle blend of greens and blues that creates a clear image of rolling hills under a moonlit sky. The trio of poachers are silhouetted by a bright moon encircled by clouds. O'Connor's dramatic isolation of the poachers adds to the picture's emotional tension as poaching in the nineteenth-century carried severe penalties.

O'Connor's Romanticism reached its height in the 1830s. This painting and Thunderstorm, the Frightened Waggoner (NGI 4041), also the Gallery's collection, are fine examples of his Romantic style and share an affinity with the literary Romanticism of Wordsworth.
ProvenancePurchased, Lord Powerscourt, 1879
Exhibition HistoryExhibition of Works by Irish Painters, Guildhall, London, 1904

James Arthur O'Connor, The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, November-December 1985; The Ulster Museum, Belfast, February-March 1986; Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork, March-April 1986

Lines of Vision. Irish Writers at the National Gallery of Ireland, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 8 October 2014 —12 April 2015

The Moon, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark, 13 September 2018 - 20 January 2019

This website uses cookies

We use optional cookies to enhance your user experience and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services.


About Cookies

Cookies are small text files that can be used by websites to make a user's experience more efficient. The law states that we can store cookies on your device if they are strictly necessary for the operation of this site. For all other types of cookies we need your permission. This site uses different types of cookies. Some cookies are placed by third party services that appear on our pages. You can at any time change or withdraw your consent from the Cookie Declaration on our website. Learn more about who we are, how you can contact us and how we process personal data in our Privacy Policy. Please state your consent ID and date when you contact us regarding your consent.

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

JSESSIONIDeMuseumUser SessionSessionHTTP

Statistics Cookies

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

_gaGoogle Tag ManagerRegisters a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website.2 yearsJavaScript
_gidGoogle Tag ManagerRegisters a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website.1 dayJavaScript