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Have faith, watercolor attributed to Maud Gonne

Collection MS-2020-061: Have faith, watercolor attributed to Maud Gonne


  • Creation: probably 1910-1944

Scope and Contents

Watercolor-over-pencil attributed to Maud Gonne, housed in a heavy paper portfolio. The image shows the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus with a serpent under her feet and contains the text "Have Faith". The portfolio includes facing text in pencil, which has been crossed out, stating "Our Lady Blessing the Faith of Ireland: The twelve lilies typify the twelve Apostles to whom the Faith was entrusted which was retained in all its purity in Ireland & the two candles the two great lights of Irish faith Saints Patrick & Bridget." The materials also include a related letter indicating the return of the painting to the MacDermot family. Image is a version of Gonne's illustration for "The Cow of Plenty" in Ella Young's Celtic Wonder Tales (1910). A black and white photograph of yet another variation of the illustration is also included.


Restrictions on Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note

Maud Gonne was born on December 21, 1866, in England.

An Irish patriot and suffragette, Gonne founded Inghinidhe na hÉireann, the Daughters of Ireland, in 1900 to promote the cause of Irish independence. The organization created the first women’s journal to be published in Ireland, Bean na hÉireann, which ran until 1911. In 1914, Inghinidhe na hÉireann merged with Cumann na mBan.

Gonne was also a noted Irish actress and the muse of W. B. Yeats. She bore two children by French journalist Lucien Millevoye: Georges, who died as a baby, and Iseult. She married Major John MacBride in 1903 and together they had one son, Seán. Gonne and her husband separated in 1906, and she moved to France with Seán.

Major John MacBride participated in the 1916 Easter Rising and was executed for his involvement. Maud Gonne returned to Ireland in 1917 and began using her former husband’s name again.

In 1918, Gonne was arrested with Countess Constance Markievicz under accusations of their involvement in a pro-German plot against Britain. She was involved in the Irish War of Independence and stood against the Anglo-Irish Treaty. In 1922, she co-founded the Women’s Prisoners’ Defence League, which was banned a year later. The group was the first to use the lily as a symbol of the 1916 Easter Rising, which is still used today. Gonne was arrested again in 1923 for carrying Anti-Free State placards and was released from Kilmainham Gaol after staging a hunger strike with her fellow inmates.

Gonne published her autobiography, A Servant of the Queen, in 1938. She died on April 27, 1953.


Britannica Academic, s.v. "Maud Gonne," accessed June 28, 2018,

"MAUD GONNE MACBRIDE." Glasnevin Trust. Accessed June 28, 2018.


1.75 Linear Feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



Watercolor illustration of the Virgin Mary and child, attributed to Irish revolutionary, suffragette, actress, and artist Maud Gonne. Materials also include a letter concerning the painting, and a photograph of another version of the illustration.


Purchase from De Búrca Rare Books in 2020. De Búrca obtained it through a May 2020 auction by Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers, where its provenance was described as having come from the MacDermot family of Coolvin, County Sligo, to whom it was said to have been originally given by Gonne.

Have faith, watercolor attributed to Maud Gonne.
probably 1910-1944
Lynn Moulton
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States