The Oscar Wilde Monument is located in Merrion Square in Dublin, Ireland, The sculpture was unveiled in 1997 by Oscar's grandson, Merlin Holland


The monument is a three-part sculpture with references from Oscar Wilde's life. Carved in colorful semi precious stones, he sits on a large 40 ton quartz boulder. Across from him on one side is his pregnant wife, Constance, and on the other, the torso of a young Dionysus, God of youth, wine, poetry and theatre, who was an inspiration to Oscar (he had a small statue of Dionysus on his writing desk). Dionysus and Constance are made in bronze, a reference to Oscar's love of all things Greek. Oscar gazes between the two, half smiling, half frowning, towards his childhood home, No 1 Merrion Square. Dionysus is rendered without a face, such that his body becomes a sexual symbol of a young man. Constance, is six months pregnant. It was at this time that Oscar Wilde had his first homosexual experience.

Given Oscar's flamboyant nature, he is carved in a variety of semi precious stones that were sourced from various parts of the world, green nephrite jade from Northern Canada, white jade from Guatemala, pink thulite and larvikite from Norway, black granite from India. The rock on which he reclines is from the nearby Irish Wicklow Mountains. 



Between the two figures is an open space, through which visitors pass against the backdrop of his childhood home. Oscar was fond of people watching, which he did from his bedroom window as a child, and then later in life in the garden.. 

He favored opposites. This informed his facial expression, as well as the tension of the young male torso with the pregnant Constance. Also the two scarab rings that he wore on his left and right hands in honor of both good and bad luck. 

Beneath the male torso and Constance are two stone plinths of Indian granite and Azul Bahia. Etched into the plinths are Oscar Wilde quotations, selected by established Irish poets, artists, politicians, writers and close relations of Wilde, rendered in their handwriting. 


Review: The Irish Times: