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Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world

Archive for the ‘ART’ Category


Friday, June 13th, 2014
Sir John Lavery, R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A. (1856-1941) Anna Pavlova as The Swan (Study)

Sir John Lavery, R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A. (1856-1941)
Anna Pavlova as The Swan (Study) Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014.  UPDATE: THIS MADE £158,500

Anna Pavlova as The Swan by the Irish artist Sir John Lavery dates from 1911 and will come up at Christie’s evening sale of Modern British and Irish art in London on June 25. The appearance of Russian dancers at the Palace Theatre of Varieties in April 1910 caught London audiences unawares. In a programme that included Lily Hayes, the comedienne, Selbo, the club juggler, the Palace Girls and the performance in ‘Kinemacolor’ of the one-reeler, ‘Paris, the Gay City’, the headline act was the first English performance of the Imperial Russian Ballet, starring Anna Pavlova and Mikhail Mordkin, ‘Russia’s acknowledged greatest dancers’. At this point, Pavlova was leaving Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes to work as a solo performer and later that year, she would launch her own company. The thirty-five minute programme consisted of a series of short divertissements, dances drawn from her most famous ballets that demonstrated the range and depth of Pavlova’s abilities. When she danced the Autumn Bacchanal from Pepita’s The Seasons for instance, it was not simply, according to Michel Fokine, ‘Pavlova in a gay mood, it was gaiety itself’Ballet fever gripped the capital, and the shrewd Palace Theatre entrepreneurs booked her for the Royal Opera House Covent Garden for 1911.

It was the anticipation of this event that brought Pavlova to John Lavery’s studio at 5 Cromwell Place, South Kensington. After the completion of her début season, he received a commission to paint her portrait for reproduction in colour as a supplement to the Illustrated London News. The editor’s choice was auspicious. It underlined the pre-eminence of a painter who had been extensively honoured throughout Europe and the United States with major canvases in national collections. Furthermore, Lavery had been selected that year to represent Great Britain in the Venice Biennale, with a solo exhibition of 53 works. His study for the portrait is estimated at £70,000-100,000.



Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Works by John Lavery, William Scott, Paul Henry, F.E. McWilliam, and Jack B. Yeats will feature at Christie’s Modern British and Irish sales in London on June 25 and 26.  Featuring 49 lots the evening auction presents stellar examples of 20th century sculpture and painting including three paintings by L.S. Lowry led by Industrial Panorama (£1,500,000 – 2,500,000) and Sir Stanley Spencer’s The Scarecrow, Cookham, (£1,500,000 – 2,500,000). The strong selection of modern sculpture is led by Figure for Landscape by Dame Barbara Hepwort (£1-2million) and two bronze sculptures Seated Man by Dame Elisabeth Frink (£400,000 – 600,000)  and Sitting Couple on a Bench by Lynn Chadwick (£700,000 – 1,000,000).

A large Composition by William Scott at the evening sale on June 25 is estimated at £500,000-800,000. An African Figure in cherrywood, unique, by F.E. McWilliam is estimated at £120,000-180,000 and a study of Anna Pavlova as The Swan by Sir John Lavery is estimated at £70,000-100,000.  The Bay of Tunis, Morning by Lavery is estimated at £100,000-150,000.  On the following day the sale will feature two works by Paul Henry and one by Yeats.

Paul Henry - Thatched cottages with mountains beyond (£25,000-35,000). Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2014.

Paul Henry – Thatched cottages with mountains beyond (£25,000-35,000). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014. UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £32,500

 Jack Butler Yeats - The Western Ocean (£60,000-80,000).  Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd., 2014.

Jack Butler Yeats – The Western Ocean (£60,000-80,000). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £86,500


Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
JAMES TURRELL, Magnetron Series: Pancho, 2000.

JAMES TURRELL, Magnetron Series: Pancho, 2000.

The first light installation by James Turrell to be auctioned in Asia made US$135,897 at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong.  Magnetron Series: Pancho,  2000, a television installed within an wall with an installation manual, was snapped up by an Asian buyer. Turrell is an internationally known US artist with strong connections to Ireland. His favoured medium is light.

Western contemporary works  made up six of the top ten lots sold at Sotheby’s Boundless auction which brought in US$3.5 million. Western artists attracted strong interest from across Asia. The top lot was Zeng Fanzhi’s Portrait, No. 1 from 2004 which made US$266,667.  The western artists in the top ten were Marc Quinn, Georges Matthieu, Allora and Calzadilla, James Turrell, Robert Indiana and Damian Hirst.


Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
Jack Butler Yeats RHA, 1871-1957 THE RETURN FROM THE PICNIC (1925)

Jack Butler Yeats RHA, 1871-1957

THE change apparent in the market for Irish art in 2014 was re-enforced at de Veres auction of Important Irish Art in Dublin last night. All the top lots were sold and there was competition for the best lots.  This is in contrast to the situation during the height of the continung recession in Ireland.  For de Veres Rory Guthrie commented that the sale, which brought in 365,000, exceeded expectations.  There was no shortage of new buyers and plenty of online bidding.  The top lot was Sean Keating’s Unloading the Catch, which sold for a hammer price of 52,000 over an estimate of 40,000-60,000.  The Return from the Picnic, a small oil on board by Jack B. Yeats with a similar estimate, sold for 50,000.  A boxed portfolio of ten etchings by Sean Scully from 2003 to accompany ten poems by Federico Garcia Lorca sold for 6,000 and Palometta by Barrie Cooke, who died earlier this year, made 20,000 at hammer.


(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for June 5, 2014)


Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926) - NYMPHÉAS dated 1906.

CLAUDE MONET (1840-1926) – NYMPHÉAS dated 1906.  UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £31.7 MILLION

Less than two months after a water lily painting by Claude Monet topped Christie’s Impressionist sale in New York  Sotheby’s  will lead their  sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in London on June 23 with Nymphéas (Water Lilies) of 1906.  It is estimated at £20-30 million ($35-50 million).  The water lilies at Christie’s sold for $27,045,000.

The Sotheby’s version was selected by Monet to be exhibited at his seminal exhibition held at the Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, in 1909 to unveil his water lily paintings. It was acquired by Paul Durand-Ruel – the legendary art dealer who championed the Impressionists and represented Monet, among many other of the greatest artists of his time – and remained in his personal collection throughout his lifetime. It has been widely exhibited at museums including the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris.  Since 2011 the painting has been on loan to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
(See post on antiquesandartireland.com for May 7, 2014).



Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
L.S. Lowry Station Approach, Manchester dated 1960 est. £2-3 million, sold for £2,322,500

L.S. Lowry
Station Approach, Manchester
dated 1960
est. £2-3 million, sold for £2,322,500

An iconic painting of Manchester life by L.S. Lowry sold for £2.3 million at Sotheby’s in London today.  Station Approach, Manchester, dates from 1960.  It depicts one of Manchester’s historic landmarks, the London and North Western Railway Exchange Station.  This work epitomises everything that Lowry has become known and loved for. The subject was highly significant for the artist and he chose to produce a smaller version of it in 1962 to present to the Royal Academy of Arts, London, on being made a Royal Academician. It was first exhibited in the artist’s sell-out 1961 exhibition at Lefevre Gallery, London and has not been seen in public for a generation.

Frances Christie, Sotheby’s Head of Modern & Post-War British Art Department commented:  ‘Station Approach, Manchester is one of Lowry’s most exciting works to emerge onto the market in recent years. Lowry was a master at portraying the energy and vitality of everyday life and in Station Approach, Manchester he captures the hustle and bustle of the crowds heading home after a hard day’s work – it is a superb example of Lowry at his very best.’



Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
Peter Doig - Country-rock (rear window).

Peter Doig (born 1959) – Country-rock (wing mirror) – estimate in the region of £9 million.  UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £8,482,500, A NEW RECORD FOR THE ARTIST.

Peter Doig’s Country-rock (wing mirror) will come up at Sotheby’s sale on Contemporary Art in London on June 30.  Painted in London it depicts a much loved landmark near Toronto, the rainbow tunnel which appeared above an underpass alongside the Don Valley Parkway in 1972. Sotheby’s say it is one of the most important works by the artist ever to appear on the market. It belongs to a series of three works which rank among the most celebrated of the artists oeuvre.  The Country Rock trio all centre on the same vista of the Don Valley Parkway. This is the only one ever to have come to auction and it is estimated at in the region of £9 million.

Cheyenne Westphal, Co-Global Head of Contemporary Art at Sotheby’s, said: “The rainbow tunnel is one of the most prominent and resonant motifs in Doig’s oeuvre. For lovers of Doig, it has a supreme status – akin only perhaps to that of the canoe – and of all the works in which the motif appears, the Country-Rock series is the apogee. Doig is a giant in the current market, and this particular work is fabled. Its appearance at auction represents an all-time first – and hugely exciting – opportunity for collectors.”



Monday, June 9th, 2014
Vermeer - Saint Praxedis - © Christie’s Images Limited 2014

Vermeer – Saint Praxedis – © Christie’s Images Limited 2014  UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £6,242,500

A Vermeer at auction is possibly even rarer than hens teeth, so Christie’s is understandably thrilled to offer Saint Praxedis in London on July 8.  One of only two known works by Vermeer in private hands it is estimated at £6-8 million at auction for the first time in its brief documented history.   It was first considered to be by Johannes Vermeer  of Delft (1632-1675) in 1969 and has been the subject of scholarly discussion ever since. The subject matter is unusual both in the context of Vermeer and of Dutch painting.  In 1985 this work featured in the seminal monographic exhibition by Vermeer at the National Gallery of Art in Washington and The Mauritshuis, The Hague, as his earliest known painting, painted when he was 22-23.  Since then the ex-Beit/Rolin Lady at the Virginals – long considered to be by a follower – has been re-accepted into his oeuvre and is now in private ownership.  Only 36 paintings by Vermeer are known and his formative years as  a painter are shrouded in mystery.

The results of a recent material technical analysis by the Rijksmuseum in association with the Free University, Amsterdam, endorses Vermeer’s authorship of Saint Praxedis.  The lead white in the paint is consistent with Dutch painting, not Italian.  They also found a precise match with another established early work by Vermeer – Diana and her Companions – at The Mauritshuis.  The match suggests that the exact same batch of paint was used.   Christ in the house of Mary and Martha by Vermeer at the National Gallery, Edinburgh, dates to the same period. Saint Praxedis is from the Barbara Piasecka Johnson Collection.


Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Rarities at Marshs 500 lot sale in Cork on June 14 include two paintings by the Victorian artist Charles Henry Cook.  Born in Bandon in 1830  he first exhibited at the RHA in 1846, moved to Bath in 1870 and died at Scarborough in 1906.  The paintings coming up now, from the collection of late Cork solicitor Charlie Hennessy, are The Cork Fiddle Player and The Musician.  Each one is estimated at 2,000-3,000.  The auction features art by Lady Kate Dobbin, Sylvia Cooke-Collis, Fergal O’Ryan, Maurice Desmond and Michael Gemmell as well as furniture and collectibles.  More information is available on Marshs website.

Charles Henry Cook - The Musician (2,000-3,000).

Charles Henry Cook – The Musician (2,000-3,000).  UPDATE: THIS WAS SOLD AFTER THE AUCTION.


Pair of 19th century gilt wood console tables, one with marble top.

Pair of 19th century gilt wood console tables, one with marble top.  UPDATE: THE TABLES MADE 1,600


Charles Henry Cook - Cork Fiddle Player (2,000-3,000).

Charles Henry Cook – Cork Fiddle Player (2,000-3,000). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,650


A pair of 19th century gilt wood wall mirrors (4,000-6,000).

A pair of 19th century gilt wood wall mirrors (4,000-6,000). UPDATE: THESE SOLD FOR 3,100



Friday, June 6th, 2014


Meindert Hobbema - Wooded Landscape with Merrymakers in a Cart.

Meindert Hobbema – Wooded Landscape with Merrymakers in a Cart.

A dream has come true at the Rijksmuseum which has received its biggest donation for the past 50 years – Hobbema’s Wooded Landscape with Merrymakers in a Cart.  Dating from 1655 the masterpiece is part of Willem baron Van Dedem’s collection.  The Baron, who lives in England, is chair of TEFAF Maastricht and has been collecting 17th century Dutch paintings for over 50 years.

Meindert Hobbema was a student of Jacob van Ruisdael, but his landscapes are lighter and more cheerful. In this painting the artist illuminates the trees from behind, giving extra depth.  The work goes on display from today in the Gallery of Honour.

The general director of the Amsterdam Museum Wim Pijbes said: “A long tradition of important Rijksmuseum donations is honoured at the highest level. To date there has been no other masterpiece by Hobbema in the Rijksmuseum.  It’s a dream come true for every director”.