Oscar Wilde

  • Free to visit
The great writer was celebrated for his devil-may-care attitude to life and that’s captured in Danny Osborne’s much-loved statue. Oscar reclines on a quartz boulder - sourced in the Wicklow Mountain - and decorated with colourful semi-precious stone. It was unveiled in 1997.

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in 1854 to leading Dublin intellectuals; his mother, the poet Jane Wilde (also known as Speranza), inspired the young Oscar and his older brother Willie with a love of poetry and the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. The author of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lady Windermere's Fan and De Profundis was celebrated for his wit throughout his life. While studying Classics at Trinity College Dublin and Oxford, Wilde decorated his Oxford rooms with peacock feathers, lilies, sunflowers and other objets d'art, once remarking to friends, "I find it harder and harder every day to live up to my blue china."

Danny Osborne's colourful statue of Wilde was made using semi-precious stones, reflecting the writer's love of beautiful objects; his flamboyant green smoking jacket is made of nephrite jade, and its pink collar and cuffs are carved from thulite. The stone pillars by the statue are covered in quotations from his writings. His facial expression differs on each half of his face. His wife Constance is depicted on one of the pillars, a nude pregnant woman. On the other pillar is a male torso representing Dionysus, the Greek God of drama and wine. The main statue was unveiled in 1997.

Oscar Wilde's family home is located just across the street. - Tours are generally offered twice a day now on weekdays, but may be subject to change or cancellation on short notice.

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