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    STILL TIME TO CATCH FREUD AND YEATS AT IMMA

    Saturday, January 4th, 2020

    If you have not yet managed to see it there is still time to catch a marvellous show at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin.  Life Above Everything brings together the work of Lucian Freud (1922-2011) and Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957).  Freud had a lifelong interest in the work of Yeats and admired its force and energy.  He did not cite Yeats as an influence but seems to have found common purpose with its originality and independence.  A pen and ink drawing by Yeats, The Dancing Stevedores, hung beside Freud’s bed forI over 20 years.  Unique to the show is a group of seven paintings by Yeats which Freud selected for a close friend, advising him which works to acquire.  Freud’s first visit to Ireland in 1948 has been described, at least in part, as a pilgrimage to the site of Yeats’ work.  They exhibited together only one in their lifetimes, at the inaugural show at the ICA in London in 1948. Freud’s work has been exhibited with that of other artists, but this is the first time that it is presented with a single other artist. The show runs until January 19.

    Girl with Roses by Lucian Freud from the Freud-Yeats show at IMMA. British Council, London, UK /  © The Lucian Freud Archive /  Bridgeman Images

    TURNER WATERCOLOURS AT NATIONAL GALLERY OF IRELAND

    Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

    The annual exhibition of Turner watercolours opens today at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin. This year, watercolours by J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851) will be complemented by the works of a broad range of over 20 artists that were inspired by him. All works in this year’s display, by artists such as William Leech, Evie Hone, Paul Cézanne and John Singer Sargent, are from the Gallery’s collection, with many watercolours having not been seen in years. Some recent acquisitions by the artists Basil Blackshaw and Kyffin Williams will also be included. In 1900, the Gallery received a bequest of 31 watercolours and drawings by Turner from the English collector Henry Vaughan. Vaughan stipulated that the watercolours be exhibited every year, free of charge, for the month of January, when the light is at its weakest. Since 1901, the Gallery has displayed the watercolours for just one month every year, ensuring that the collection remains in pristine condition. Turner: The Visionary is on display until January 31.

    Below Arvier, looking down the Val d’Aosta towards Mont Emilius, 1836, Artist: Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1775-1851, Watercolour on paper.

    THE LAST HIGH SHERIFF TO BURN A WITCH

    Tuesday, December 31st, 2019

    According to a file at the Heinz Archive and library the boy depicted in this painting grew up to become the last High Sheriff to burn a witch. The portrait attributed to Thomas Murray (1663-1735) shows Henry Stewart as a boy. Stewart died in 1717. The sitter was the son of William Stewart (1625-1706) and Margaret Shaw (b. 1625), who married in 1664 and lived at Killymoon Castle, County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, which William’s father had purchased in 1634. Henry Stewart became High Sheriff of County Tyrone in 1711. The portrait, from Killadoon House in Co. Kildare, comes up at Sotheby’s Royal and Nobel sale in London on January 21 with an estimate of £8,000-12,000.

    ATTRIBUTED TO THOMAS MURRAY | PORTRAIT OF HENRY STEWART (D. 1717) AS A BOY

    A HOLIDAY SALE AT MATTHEWS IN KELLS

    Friday, December 27th, 2019

    More than 1,100 lots will come under the hammer at the annual holiday auction by Matthews in Kells, Co. Meath on December 29 and 30. Viewing gets underway today. The catalogue is online.

    A pair of Tiffany dragonfly lamps (200-300). UPDATE: THESE MADE 190 AT HAMMER

    A NATIVITY BY BOTTICELLI

    Tuesday, December 24th, 2019

    THE Mystic Nativity by Sandro Botticelli dates to 1500 and is in the collection of London’s National Gallery. They bought it in 1878. The infant Christ reaches up towards the Virgin Mary, oblivious of his visitors – the Three Kings on the left and the shepherds on the right. The golden dome of heaven has opened up and is circled by 12 angels holding olive branches entwined with scrolls and hung with crowns. In the foreground, three pairs of angels and men embrace; among their feet demons scuttle for shelter in the underworld through cracks in the rocks. It is his only signed work.

    We will all visitors to antiquesandartireland.com a very happy Christmas.

    THE SCAR OF BETHLEHEM BY BANKSY

    Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

    Instantly dubbed “The Scar of Bethlehem” the latest work by Banksy appeared on yesterday in the Israeli occupied West Bank. A Christmas crib with the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph backlit through damaged concrete. The vertical concrete slabs behind the scene are pierced by a hole making a latter day star apparently created by a mortar shell. The work is at Banksy’s Walled-Off Hotel, where rooms overlook a concrete section of the barrier built by Israel. On instagram the artist described the work as a “modified nativity”.

    (See post on antiquesandartireland.com for February 28, 2015)

    The West Bank nativity scene by Banksy

    MONET TAKES TOP BILLING AT SOTHEBY’S 2019 ART SALES

    Sunday, December 22nd, 2019

    Monet, Picasso, Bacon and Rothko were the highest priced artists at Sotheby’s in 2019. The top lot of the year at Sotheby’s was Meules by Monet which made $110,747,000 in New York. Picasso’s Femme au Chien made $54,936,000, Bacon’s Study for a Head sold for $50,380,000 and an untitled work by Mark Rothko made $50,095,250. All these works were sold in New York last May.

    Claude Monet – Meules

    500 YEARS OF WORKS ON PAPER AT CHRISTIE’S NEW YORK

    Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

    A wide variety of works on paper covering over 500 years from approximately 1480 to the mid-19th Century will come up at Christie’s Old Master and British Drawings sale in New York on January 28. The auction will include works from the collection of Jean Bonna of Geneva. There is art by Tiepolo, Canaletto, Perugino, Luca Signorelli, Parmigianino, Annibale Carracci, Bernini, Elisabetta Sirani, Francois Boucher, Ingres, Gericault, Buguereau, Rembrandt and Turner. Estimates range from $2,000 to $800,000.

    FRANÇOIS BOUCHER (PARIS 1703-1770)
    A nude woman playing a flute, seen from behind ($20,000-30,000)

    ART FOR CHRISTMAS AT WHYTE’S

    Tuesday, December 17th, 2019

    Turf Cutting by Letitia Marion Hamilton is one a number of unsold lots from Whyte’s Irish art sale on December 2 now on offer as part of Art for Christmas at Whyte’s on Molesworth St. in Dublin. A selection of art is now available at Whyte’s galleries, which will remain open until December 23. Estimated in the auction at 10,000-15,000 Turf Cutting is priced at 12,500 including commission and VAT on commission. Offers are invited and will be transmitted to the owners.

    Letitia M Hamilton (1878-1964) – Turf Cutting

    GIFT FROM SPIELBERG TO ALICE WALKER AT CHRISTIE’S

    Sunday, December 15th, 2019

    Bill Traylor’s Man on White, Woman on Red / Man with Black Dog (double-sided), from the collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Alice Walker comes up at Christie’s sale of Outsider Art sale in New York on January 17. The gift of a painting by an artist born into slavery was made by Steven Spielberg after the conclusion of filming The Color Purple, a film adaptation of Walker’s novel focused on the lives of African American womenb durin the 1930’s. It is estimated at $200,000 – 400,000.

    “I’ve enjoyed having this extraordinary artwork by Bill Traylor on my wall; but my spirit tells me that it is time for it to find a new home” Walker said.

    Born into slavery in 1853, self-taught artist Bill Traylor only began to make work in 1939, around the age of 86. Having spent his entire working life on plantations and farms, in 1928 he moved to the state capital of Montgomery, where he would begin to draw for the first time. Life in Montgomery proved difficult: although he sought employment, painful rheumatism left Traylor unable to work. With no income except a small public stipend, he became homeless, sleeping in the backroom of a funeral parlor at night, and spending the day camped out on the city’s Monroe Street. Daily life on Monroe Street, and his memories of plantations, inspired Traylor’s art. Working in pencil, tempera or colored pencil on repurposed card and paper, his subjects include people he saw on the street, animals and livestock, and found objects.

    Bill Traylor (1853-1949) . Man on White, Woman on Red / Man with Black Dog (double-sided), 1939-1942