Crawford Art Gallerypermanent collection

Continental Street Scene
Continental Street Scene
Irish School
Oil on canvas
40.5 x 30.5cm


Presented by the artist

Beatrice E. Gubbins
Irish School

Beatrice Edith Gubbins was born on 19th September, 1878, the youngest of a family of six girls and two boys. In 1883, her father Thomas Wise Gubbins moved to Cork to run Wise's distillery and purchased Dunkathel house at Glanmire. Beatrice spent most of her life at this house overlooking the River Lee. One brother served abroad in the army, the other was a yachtsman, while her sisters ran the house and farm. All the girls suffered from partial deafness. The fourth sister, Kathleen was a talented photographer.

"Beatrice grew up in an atmosphere of strict Victorian codes, a vanished society of discipline and high morals - yet a happy one which gave rise to the nurturing of productive talent and... creative abilities." (Frances Russell, 1986).

It is possible that she attended the Crawford School of Art in the 1890's. She first exhibited at the RHA in 1897.

She made watercolours of her visits to the West of Ireland and travelled abroad each year; in 1899 to the Italian lakes and Venice, then Paris, and in 1902 to Barbizon. Many fine watercolours date from her second visit to Italy in 1905, and Spain in 1906. In 1910 she visited Lausanne. Throughout her life she kept diaries of her travels. Beatrice and her sisters did charitable work in the area, and on the outbreak of the First World War trained to be a nurse. After the War she worked as a nurse in Exeter, but was in Ireland during the Civil War.

She exhibited regularly at the RHA, from 1907-14, 1919-20, and 1923-25. Her watercolours were of domestic subjects, landscapes of Co. Cork, Kerry and Clare, Connemara and Achill Island, of England, Wales and Scotland and of her travels abroad, eg. to Alcala in Spain and Italy. During the 1920's she travelled extensively in Europe: in 1920 to Paris, Avignon and Nice, thence to Italy: Florence, Siena, Perugia and Assisi; in 1922 to Corsica and 1924 to Rome, the South of Italy and Morocco (visiting mosques and temples at Marrakesh), to the West Indies in 1930 and to Algeria and Tunis.

At home she painted landscapes and domestic subjects at Dunkathel, cottage and garden scenes, labourers at work and harvest scenes, old women in interiors, girls feeding geese or still-lives. She was a member of the Queenstown Sketching Club and became secretary of the club. She exhibited at the RHA for the last time in 1937. She died at Dunkathel on 12th August, 1944, the first of her sisters to die, and was buried on Little Island.


Beatrice Gubbins 1878-1944 Crawford Art Gallery Cork,1985. Exhibition catalogue by Francis Russell and Shirley Armstrong Duffy, 1986
Royal Hibernian Academy. Index of Exhibitors 1826-1979 by Anne M. Stewart, Vol.1