This statue of Oscar Wilde stands close to the north west corner the attractive little park at the centre of Merrion Square in Dublin. It’s quite unusual in that it’s made from different colours of stone. It was sculpted by Danny Osborne and was commissioned by the Guinness Ireland group. Wilde isn’t portrayed in the usual staid, dignified pose. Rather he’s lounging provocatively on the rock with something of a smirk on his face. But he was, to say the least, rather an unconventional character and I guess the statue reflects this.
Next to the statue there are a couple of pillars inscribed with some of his most famous quips and sayings. The quotes were chosen by notable Irish artists, scientists, politicians etc. and are carved in their own handwriting.
On top of each of the pillars are sculpture. On one there is a bronze figure of a pregnant naked woman kneeling which represents Oscars wife Constance.
with a bronze male torso on top of the other.
(the photos were taken during a previous visit during the Spring)
Wilde was born in Dublin and grew up at 1 Merrion Square between 1855 and 1876 in a typical Georgian style terrace house, on the north side of the square just opposite the corner of the park where the statue is located. Today the house is owned by the American College, Dublin, and although there is a blue plaque commemorating Wilde’s time here, it is not open to be visited by the public.
Wilde studied at Trinity College in his native city, but moved to England to continue his education in Oxford and then settled in London.
As the statue is located inside the park, to see it properly visitors need to arrive while the park is open. Closing time depends on the time of year – 9:30pm in midsummer and 4:30pm in midwinter.
The Oscar Wilde fan club have some information on the statue here.
And here’s a video where the sculptor talks about it