Defined in a variety of terms, from Fauvist to Expressionist, Colorist and Impressionist, Irish painter Roderic O'Conor is unique even among his fellow Post-Impressionists.
He had had a thorough Academic training at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin and at the Royal Hibernian Academy as well. Like so many of his classmates, O'Conor headed to the continent to continue his formal studies. He wound up in Paris, where he studied under Carolus-Duran. Though his teacher was a Realist painter of portraits, O'Conor began to demonstrate strong influences from the Impressionists, especially Pissarro.
His work during the 1890s is considered a forerunner to such later styles as Fauvism and Expressionism. He relied on a bold and brilliant palette, and is considered a gifted colorist. He designed his own special technique, frequently referred to as his "stripe" technique which juxtaposed oppositional colors (usually shades of red versus green) in a striped pattern to convey depth and texture, and which gives his work a remarkable distinction.
He exhibited with the Salon des Independants around 1889, and is believed to have settled in the Pont Aven art community three years later. When the group eventually split up, primarily due to overcrowding and the loss of the low cost of living and relaxed atmosphere, O'Conor returned to Paris, opening a studio in the Montparnasse area and joining fellow Anglo-Saxon artists such as Matthew Smith and Clive Bell.
He did not sell many of his works during his lifetime, and today there are several major museums with examples in their collections. These include the Indiana Museum of Art, the Dublin City Gallery in Ireland and the Musee des Beaux Arts de Pont-Aven.