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

Posts Tagged ‘Irish art’


Saturday, October 8th, 2011

The Old Fenian John O'Leary. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR 2,600.


This 19th century Irish School portrait of  The Old Fenian John O’Leary (1830-1907) is at Whyte’s Irish art sale in Dublin on Monday, October 10.  O’Leary, who studied both law and medicine, was imprisoned in England during the 19th century for his involvement with the Irish Republican Brotherhood.  The work is estimated at 1,500-2,000.

In his poem “September 1913″ W.B. Yeats laments the death of O’Leary with the line:

"Romantic Ireland's dead and gone;
it's with O'Leary in the grave".
See antiquesandartireland.com post for October 3.


Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

FROM Shinnors to Scott, Markey to Maderson  the Morgan O’Driscoll Irish art sale in Cork on October 17 has much variety to offer collectors. There are abstracts and still lifes, landscapes, portraits, beaches, horses and cliffs.  Despite the Yeats effect – the impact of the million euro Yeats’ painting at Adams at the end of September on the market for Irish art – the estimates in this sale represent good value.

The 285 lot auction is at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Little Island, Cork on October 17  at 6.30 p.m.  Here is a small selection from what is on offer. The entire catalogue is on-line:

UPDATE:  THE sale brought in 212,000 at hammer.  The top lot was Potato Gatherers by Markey Robinson which made 6,400 and there were good prices for works by Mark O’Neill, Kenneth Webb, John Shinnors and Arthur Maderson.

Sean Scully (b.1945) 'Horizon I' limited edition print 29/40 (2,000 - 2,500). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,900

John Luke RUA (1906-1975) 'Villiage Scene' watercolour (3,000 - 4,000). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

Sean Keating PRHA HRA HRSA (1889-1978) 'Irish Free State Bacon' offset lithograph poster printed in colour Provenance: Commissioned by the Empire Marketing Board in 1929 as part of a campaign to market Irish produce in Britain. (600 - 900) UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

Pauline Bewick RHA (b.1935) 'Yellow Man in Fig Tree' (8,000 -12,000). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD

Grace Henry HRHA (1868-1953) 'Old Woman Sewing' (3,000 - 5,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 3,200

Brian Ballard RUA (b.1943) 'Tulips and Green Bottle' (1,400-1,800). UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 1,100.

William Scott OBE RA (1913-1989) 'Pears' (2,000 - 2,500). UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD


Monday, October 3rd, 2011

In Dublin Whyte’s will offer a selection of 279 modern, contempory and classical paintings, drawings and sculpture with realistic market reserves on Monday October 10.  There is a classical Yeats from 1949, a collection of fifteen works by Markey Robinson, ten by Joseph William Carey, five by Hughie O’Donoghue and even a collection of paintings relating to the visit of Queen Elizabeth 11 to Ireland in May 2011.

Here is a selection from the sale:  UPDATE: THE YEATS WAS THE TOP LOT IN A SALE WHICH GROSSED OVER 700,000.

RESCUE MEN, 1949 by Jack Butler Yeats (60,000-80,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 110,000.

THE THIRD DAY, c.1950 by Nevill Johnson (8,000-10,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

SIX MILE WATER by Basil Blackshaw (8,000-10,000). Click to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 7,500

LANCASTRIA II, 2000 by Hughie O'Donoghue (6,000-8,000). Click to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS WAS UNSOLD.

VINCENT IT CAN BE THIS, 1984 by Brian Maguire (800-1,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 850.

Ruth by Daniel O'Neill (25,000-35,000). Click on image to enlarge. UPDATE: THIS MADE 37,000.


Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

A Fair Day, Mayo by Jack Yeats sold for one million at Adams.

A Jack Yeats masterpiece made a hammer price of one million euro at the James Adam auction of Irish art this evening to become the most expensive Irish picture to sell at auction this year. This gives an Irish art market a much needed shot in the arm.  The Irish market has lingered in the recessionary despite a strong recovery in the international art market.

A Fair Day, Mayo which dates to 1925 also became the highest priced painting ever sold at auction in Ireland.  The best of Irish art has made its top prices at the London Irish art sales.

The painting, which once hung in the office of Eamon de Valera, had been in the same family for 67 years.  It was chased by four bidders. The underbidder was a London agent acting on behalf of an unnamed client. A number of telephone lines were booked in advance of the sale.  There was spirited bidding in the room before the painting eventually wold on the telephone to an anonymous bidder.  Adams believe the picture will stay in Ireland.   A Fair Day, Mayo’, was originally sold for IR£250 to Mr. J. P. Reihill Snr in 1944 by Leo Smith and has remained in the Reihill family ever since.    After it was painted, the artist lent the picture to the leader of the new Fianna Fail party, Eamon de Valera who displayed it in his offices at Suffolk Place in Dublin. The subject is a bustling country fair and probably appealed to de Valera’s vision of Ireland.

“The 24 x 36” work had never been on the market before, yet had been seen in a number of very prestigious exhibitions including “Images in Yeats” at Monte Carlo in 1990 and at  “The Moderns” at IMMA earlier this year.” A second painting by  Yeats – ‘The Dawn” - also featured in the sale and made 80,000.

Adams managing director James O’Halloran said: “This picture was one of the largest and most valuable works by Yeats to appear on the market for many years and this evening’s result now proves that the market for Irish art is clearly here in Dublin, with Adam’s.

See antiquesandartireland.com posts for September 19 and September 23.


Monday, September 19th, 2011

JACK B YEATS RHA (1871-1957), A Fair Day, Mayo. (Click on image to enlarge). UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR ONE MILLION EURO.

THIS 1925 oil by Jack B. Yeats, once lent by the artist to Éamon De Valera for his office in Suffolk Place, Dublin, is the top lot at the James Adam art auction in Dublin on Wednesday, September 28 at 6 p.m.  A Fair Day, Mayo last changed hands in 1944 when it was purchased at the Dawson Gallery for £250. The work is estimated at 500,000-800,000 now.

In 1944 it was bought by J.P. Reihill senior, then resident at Deepwell in Blackrock, Co. Dublin. It has been in the Reihill family ever since. It has featured in a number of exhibitions, most notably Images of Yeats in Monte Carlo in 1990. Altogether there are 212 lots in the Adams sale.


UPDATE:  This made one million euro at hammer to become the highest priced painting ever sold at auction in Ireland.


Saturday, August 20th, 2011

'Grid Studies' is the title of this work by John Kingerlee. It is estimated at 2,000-4,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE 550 AT HAMMER.

'Sea Shore, Kilcatherine' by John Kingerlee is estimated at 2,500-4,000. UPDATE: THIS MADE 950 AT HAMMER.

A retrospective no reserve sale from the studio of artist John Kingerlee is to be held by auctioneer Morgan O’Driscoll in Cork on September 18 next.  The Birmingham born (in 1936) artist has been a long term resident of the Beara Peninsula in west Cork.  The sale will cover the period from 1969 to 2010.  Estimates range from 300 to 20,000.
Morgan O’Driscoll has held several successful no reserve art sales this year.  Public interest has been high and many works sold for under the low estimate. Kingerlee has exhibited locally, nationally and internationally.  He applies layers of pigment to form a thick strata of paint akin to the rocky landscape outside his studio window.  The sale, which features 136 works, is to be held at the CIT Wandesforde Quay Gallery in Cork city centre on September 18 at 4 p.m.

Headscapes' by John Kingerlee (6,000-9,000). UPDATE: THESE MADE 1,600 AT HAMMER.

Kilcatherine Landscape' by John Kingerlee (15,000-20,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 9,000 AT HAMMER




Wednesday, June 15th, 2011
An exhibition celebrating Irish art and modernism runs at the Ava Gallery at Clandeboye in Northern Ireland from June 16 to September 3.  Comprising 49 paintings and sculptural objects it features work by Jack B.Yeats, William Orpen, Mainie Jellett, Charles Lamb, Colin Middleton, F.E. McWilliam, Evie Hone, John Luke, and Gerard Dillon.

Gerard Dillon, Tea Break from the exhibition. (Click on image to enlarge)

William Orpen, Portrait of Dolly Stiles. (click on image to enlarge)

The show marks the 20th anniversary of the ground-breaking exhibition and book ‘Irish Art & Modernism’ by Dr. B S Kennedy.  This work surveyed the period 1880 until 1950, and was published to accompany an exhibition of the same title held at Dublin’s Hugh Lane Gallery in 1991.
The Adam’s exhibition at the Ava Gallery looks to recreate the original show, but largely concentrates on the latter half of the period. It focuses on areas including the Pupils of William Orpen; the Traditionalists, including Keating, McCaig and McKelvey; the Dublin Painters, based on the school established by Paul and Grace Henry; the Ulster Unit, featuring Middleton, O’Neill, Luke, Campbell and Dillon; the White Stag Group and the early Living Art Exhibitions, heralded by Le Brocquy, Jellett and McGuinness.
David Britton, Director, Adam’s & Ava Gallery, said: “We have gone to great efforts to feature almost every artist that was included in the original 1991 exhibition, and in three cases we were able to source the original paintings – Christopher Campbell’s ‘Self Portrait’ of 1950, Charles Lamb’s ‘Hearing the News’, c. 1920-2, and Nick Nicholl’s ‘Contemplation, 1944’. Furthermore a number of works were recently included in the Irish Museum of Modern Art’s (IMMA) ‘The Moderns Exhibition’, including Evie Hone, Paul Henry & Jack B. Yeats. Many of the works we’ve selected weren’t available for exhibition twenty years ago, so we hope this 20th anniversary collection provides further insight to Irish modernism, and perhaps puts the original exhibition into a newer context”.
Further information is available online at adams.ie/clandeboye. An exhibition catalogue can be downloaded.


Monday, June 6th, 2011

Not Far from Here by Melita Denaro is priced at £17,500 sterling. (Click on image to enlarge)

Not Far from Here is the title of this work by the Irish artist Melita Denaro.  It is from an exhibition which charts the progress of her painting over the last four years.  The Tenderness of Attention is the largest survey of her work. In two parts it takes place at the galleries which represent the Irish artist, the John Martin Gallery, Albemarle St., London WI from June 3 to June 25 and  Taylor Galleries, Kildare St., Dublin from June 10 to July 2.

All Denaro’s small studies are painted on location on the Isle of Doagh, an island on the Atlantic coast of Ireland. Her larger oil paintings are inspired by these smaller studies and are usually painted in London. Denaro was trained at Central School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools.
The exhibition presents two sets of paintings that are arranged to tell a similar story. It sets out to capture something of the rhythm of her painting created in part by the demands of her working routine as an artist: the monthly journey from London to Donegal, and the necessity of making all her work from one single spot on the isle of Doagh. The catalogue arranges the paintings by the date of each visit to Donegal, from 2007 to the spring of 2011.


Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
The value of Irish art which has changed hands in the current season of sales amounts to around 6 million euro.  James Adam brought in around 1.1 million on June 1, Whyte’s and de Veres brought in 700,000 and 400,000 respectively in May, the Irish artists at Christie’s sale of British and Irish art on May 26 (including Sir John Lavery and William Scott) accounted for another 1.3 million euro and Sotheby’s annual Irish sale at the end of March brought in 2.1 million euro.  These bigger players achieved around 5.6 million.
To this total must be added the achievements of smaller auction houses like Morgan O’Driscoll and Dolans which hold dedicated art sales and tend to deal in names that are less stellar.   In addition Irish art is a latter day mainstay of antique auctions around the country and features to a greater or lesser extent at most sales. All this increases the overall total. The six million euro figure is probably slightly conservative.




These not dissimilar West of Ireland landscapes by Paul Henry boosted results at Christie’s, Whytes and Adams where they sold for £79,250, 106,000 euro and 110,000 euro respectively.
Christie’s sold the single most expensive Irish artwork to change hands at auction thus far in 2011 when they achieved £657,250  for Sir John Lavery’s Played!!  Sotheby’s achieved the highest total for any Irish sale over the past two years.  Roderic O’Conor’s Landscape, Cassis was the top lot at Sotheby’s where it made £337,250.
This website will make two comments on these results. The first is that these totals are highly respectable given that Ireland continues to be in deep recession.  The second is that the Irish art market urgently needs to find new ways of promoting in the salesrooms more contemporary Irish art. The best of Paul Henry, along with Yeats, Orpen, Lavery, O’Conor, Osborne , le Brocquy et all, is highly bankable, especially in recession.  But these are not the only Irish artists who deserve an outlet in the salesrooms. There is no shortage in Ireland of available quality work by contemporary artists. Many more are waiting in the wings for the recognition that is properly their due. The focus of the Irish art market is too narrow. This problem needs to be addressed by everyone involved in the art market in an effective way if stagnation is to be avoided in the salesrooms.

See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for May 29, May 28, May 27, May 20, May 19 and March 29.


Sunday, May 29th, 2011

The Story of the Hunt by Thomas Hovenden. (click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR 47,000

THE Story of the Hunt by Thomas Hovenden at the Adams Irish art sale in Dublin on June 1 is a rare example of work by the Cork born artist at auction.
Thomas Hovenden was born in Dunmanway in December 1840, son of the town goaler. Orphaned in the Great Famine at the age of 6 he was placed in the Cork Orphanage. Later he was apprenticed to George Tolerton, a carver and gilder in Cork, who noted his skill at draughtsmanship.  Tolerton paid for him to attend the Cork School of Art which promoted ideas of aestheticism and the teachings of John Ruskin. Hovenden advanced his draughtsmanship by sketching the school’s collection of Antonio Canova’s plaster cast statuary and painting plein air watercolours.  A medal winning student he graduated in 1862.
Hovenden arrived in America at the end of the Civil War and rose to fame painting patriotic scenes in sympathy with the American version of Victorian values, and later  for paintings of African Americans during the Abolitionist movement. Among his works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection are The Last Moments of John Brown. His work features in the collections of the Yale University Art Gallery, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the San Francisco Museum of Fine Art and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
He studied in Paris at the Ecole des Beaux Arts under Alexandre Cabanel.  He was sent there with funding from the art collector John McCoy and his business partner William Walters.  From there he went to Pont Aven where he met Irish artists and his future wife, Helen Corson.  He returned to America in 1881 and became  a member of the Society of American Artists (1881), the Philadelphia Society of Artists (1883) and an Associate member of the National Academy of Design (1881). He succeeded Thomas Eakins as Professor of Painting and Drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1886-88) and his students included Alexander Calder and the leader of the Ashcan School, Robert Henri. Around the time of his untimely death in 1895  in an accident – he died saving a child on a railway track – academic painting went out of fashion and so he was soon to be forgotten.
Painted in Brittany in 1880 The Story of the Hunt is estimated at 50,000-70,000.
See posts on antiquesandartireland.com for May 20, 2011 and September 11, 2010.