These illustrations from April 1922 are from five oils by Sean Keating PRHA HRA HRSA (1889-1977) of scenes from J.M. Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World. The images feature as lots 33 to 37 in Whyte’s sale of Irish Art in Dublin on May 30. They feature models of contemporary Irish actors and actresses.
The artist makes an appearance in the images as Christy Mahon’s father. Keating even posed nude in the image of lot number 37.
An important commission for the artist, they formed part of his own collection. He exhibited in them in various venues in the late 1920’s. They were published by George Allen and Unwin, London, in 1927.
Lot 33 (illustrated on the left), estimated at 30,000-40,000, featured on a commemorative stamp issued by An Post in 2009 to mark the centenary of the death of Synge. The five works are variously estimated at between 15,000 and 40,000.
UPDATE: Only one of these five oils sold. The auction grossed over 700,000 with a sell rate of 73%.
See post on antiquesandartireland.com for May 19.