Samuel Lover was a man with a phenomenal range of talents.
He was multi-talented and and gained worldwide fame as a song writer, a painter, a novelist, a singer, a folklorist and song collector.
At the height of his powers he rubbed shoulders with the leading lights of his day in the world of music, literature and art.
Lover’s song writing career was launched when he performed some of his work at a dinner held in the honour of the great Irish songwriter Thomas Moore.
Moore was well established at the time having written classics like The Minstrel Boy, The Last Rose of Summer and Believe Me if all those Endearing Young Charms.
In Lover, Moore saw a kindred spirit and gave his support and recommendation.
Lover was equally at home writing prose fiction, so much so that the great English novelist Charles Dickens was happy to co-operate with him in founding the literary journal, Bentley’s Magazine.
As if that wasn’t enough, Lover was also one of the leading painters of his day.
The Italian violin maestro Paganini, and the English Lord Chancellor Lord Brougham were just two of the leading 19th characters that he painted.
Samuel Lover was born in Dublin on 24th February, 1797. His father was a stockbroker and wanted Samuel to follow him into the family business.
Unfortunately, Lover senior had no interest in the arts and instead of being proud, was actually horrified when his son started to show more interest in music and painting than in stocks and shares.
It led to conflict between father and son but Samuel’s artistic nature was not to be denied.
He turned his back on the business world and began to make his living as a painter of miniatures. He also painted the portraits of leading high society figures in Dublin and London.
He was elected a member of the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1828 and became its secretary a few years later.
His portrait of Paganini was exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.