The Irish portrait painter and printmaker Sean O’Sullivan studied drawing at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art where he won a scholarship and studied lithography at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. After this, he studied fine art painting and figure painting in Paris at the Académie Colarossi and La Grande Chaumiere. In Paris, he met many people who influenced him. One of his Parisian neighbors was the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle (1861-1929).
Returning to London in the mid-1920s, O’Sullivan found work in book design and printmaking. Moving back to Dublin, he focused on portrait art, completing a number of paintings in oils as well as crayon and pencil. Fluent in Irish and French, gregarious and a renowned story-teller, Sean O’Sullivan also painted a number of murals, executed chalk drawings, designed postage stamps, and taught at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. Most of his works were portraits, interspersed with landscape painting of the West of Ireland. During his distinguished career as portraitist, O’Sullivan drew or painted portraits of many of the leading political and cultural figures in Ireland.