Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
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    Friday, March 29th, 2024


    Evie Hone’s design for a small stained glass window made in the 1930’s for An Túr Gloine (The Tower of Glass) comes up at Morgan O’Driscoll’s current Irish and International Art online auction which runs until April 9. The gouache on paper is based on her studies of medieval stone carvings in Ireland. The lunette, which featured at Hone’s retrospective in Dublin in 1958, is now housed the Chapel of Rest at Tallaght University Hospital. The estimate on the sketch is 3,000-5,000.

    The sale is on view in Skibbereen on March 29. 30, 31 and on April 1 and at the RDS in Dublin from April 5-8. The catalogue is online.

    The first exhibition dedicated to the pioneering stained glass studio An Túr Gloine (The Tower of Glass), founded in 1903 by Sarah Purser is now open at The National Gallery and continues until January 12, 2025. Featured artists include Wilhelmina Geddes, Michael Healy, Catherine O’Brien, Alfred E. Child, Hubert McGoldrick, Ethel Rhind and Evie Hone.


    Thursday, March 28th, 2024

    Paulus Potter (1625-1654), Head of a White Bull, c. 1643-47. Image, National Gallery of Ireland.

    The National Gallery of Ireland and the Mauritshuis in The Hague are set to embark on a collaborative new conservation project delving into the world of Dutch artist Paulus Potter. Potter’s lesser-known work Head of a White Bull (c. 1650), in the Gallery’s collection, will be researched by a multidisciplinary team of conservators, curators and scientists. It will be studied alongside the iconic The Bull (De Stier, 1647) in the Mauritshuis’s collection. From March 29 visitors to the Mauritshuis will be able to follow the multi-analytical examination of De Stier and Head of a White Bull. Subsequent results will go on to inform a major restoration of The Bull in front of the public at the Mauritshuis over the next two years.

    Preliminary research into Head of a White Bull has revealed that it is a fragment a large painting by Potter that once depicted The Abduction of Europa. Remarkably, parts of this scene are beneath the painting’s surface, and can be detected using scientific imaging. This discovery has provided a unique window into Potter’s artistic choices and a rare engagement with a mythological subject. Scientific investigation on both Head of a White Bull and The Bull will be led by an expert team of specialists from the National Gallery of Ireland and the Mauritshuis, using technologies to study the paintings beneath their surfaces in unprecedented detail. 


    Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

    Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), View of Amsterdam from Central Station, 1885, On loan from the P. and N. de Boer Foundation, 2024.

    This view of Amsterdam from Central Station by Van Gogh is one of three works by the artist to go on display today at the Rijksmuseum. They are on long term loan from the P and N de Boer Foundation in Amsterdam. Van Gogh painted this view of Amsterdam while on his way to visit the Rijksmuseum, which had recently opened. From today, the loaned Van Gogh works –  Riverbank with Trees (1887) and Wheat Field (1888) – will hang together in the museum alongside his self-portrait from the Rijksmuseum collection. 

    After saving up for a long time, in October 1885 Van Gogh travelled from Nuenen to Amsterdam to visit the Rijksmuseum, which had only recently opened. He was very impressed by the paintings of Frans Hals – especially Militia Company of District XI – but was completely blown away by Rembrandt’s The Jewish Bride. Van Gogh described Rembrandt as a poet, writing: ‘[I would] gladly give up ten years of my life to sit in front of the painting for two weeks, eating only a stale crust of bread.’ Van Gogh had brought his painting materials with him to Amsterdam, and on the morning of his visit he applied just a few colours with rapid brushwork to capture the view of the Singel canal and the Cupola Church. This is one of only a few city views that Van Gogh painted in this period. 


    Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

    A Rare Mughal Silk Rug, The Deccan, South India, Early 18th century of ‘Flower in Lattice’ design, (Estimate £120,000-160,000 | US$160,000-200,000

    This rare Mughal silk rug is among the highlights at Christie’s bi annual Spring sale of Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds including rugs and carpets in London on April 25. It was formerly in the collection of Senator William A. Clark in 1910, who gifted it to the Corcoran Museum of Art, Washington.  Works include paintings, ceramics, metal work, works on paper, arms, textiles and rugs and carpets from across the Islamic world, spanning the Silk Route linking China to the West dating from the 10th to the 20th centuries. There are over 100 rare and collectible rugs and carpets in the sale. Another highlight is a rare and complete illustrated manuscript copy of the Khamsa of Nizami (d.1209) together with the Khamsa of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d.1325). This splendid manuscript copy of the two Khamsas is an outstanding example of Safavid manuscript production in the first half of the 17th century. 

    A rare and complete illustrated manuscript copy of the Khamsa of Nizami (d.1209) together with the Khamsa of Amir Khusraw Dihlavi (d.1325) (Estimate £500,000-700,000 / US$640,000-890,000).


    Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

    Francis Bacon’s haunting Portrait of George Dyer Crouching comes up at Sotheby’s contemporary art evening auction in New York in May. It is the first in a series of ten monumental portraits of Dyer created between 1966 and 1968 and it has never been on the auction market before. Dyer is portrayed shirtless, crouched over his discarded shirt like a predator over his prey, his head depicted in triplicate as it turns towards the viewer, combining Dyer’s face with Bacon’s, nodding to their indivisibility. This image of the entwined head is among the best examples within Bacon’s oeuvre – a significant motif that would persist throughout his work. The revolutionary impact that Dyer and Bacon had on each other’s lives can be felt palpably here, as the first painting in a series that would, over years, chronicle the seduction and sadness, frustration and fulfillment, tension and collapse that underlined one of the most tempestuous relationships in art history.

    It was acquired from The Marlborough Gallery in 1970 and has not been on the market since. It is the first full-scale portrait of Dyer at auction since another from this same cycle, George Dyer Talking, sold in 2014 for $70 million – establishing the record for any single-panel portrait by Bacon. The centerpiece of Francis Bacon: Man and Beast held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2022 Portrait of George Dyer Crouching is estimated at between $30 million and $50 million.


    Monday, March 25th, 2024

    Orpens at Farmleigh is the title of exhibitions by Sir William Orpen and Goddard Orpen at the OPW Farmleigh Gallery in Dublin until August 25.  A Family Legacy displays a range of less well known paintings and illustrated letters by Sir William Orpen and members of his family. This runs side by side with an exhibition of photographs by Goddard Orpen (1852-1932) from a recently discovered collection of glass plate negatives documenting life in the home and an the farm.


    Sunday, March 24th, 2024

    K. Knitting by Colin Middleton at James Adam. UPDATE: THIS MADE 21,000 AT HAMMER

    This one or that one?  With sales of Irish art at de Veres on Tuesday on March 26, James Adam on the following evening and a Spring online art sale running at Whyte’s until March 25 the key decision facing many collectors of Irish art in the coming week is what to choose.

    If like so many collectors you love John Behan’s Famine Ships and have not yet got around to acquiring one there will be an opportunity to do so at de Veres.  Lot 21, a signed and dated bronze Famine Ship from 2021, is estimated at €8,000-€12,000.  The most expensively estimated lot is Sean Keating’s Eliza Doolittle in Dublin (€50,000-€70,000).  Art by Keating, Colin Middleton, Patrick Collins, John Behan, John B Vallely, Felim Egan and George Russell head up the catalogue at de Veres.  

    Famine Ship (2021) by John Behan at de Veres. UPDATE: THIS MADE 9,000 AT HAMMER

    The sale is characterised by a variety that encompasses fairly abstract works like  Menhirs on the Plain by Patrick Collins (€10,000-€15,000) and Pool by Felim Egan (€7,000-€10,000) to landscapes like Resting in the Wood by George Russell (€7,000-€10,000) and a Wind Blown Tree in Killary by Letitia Marion Hamilton (€4,000-€6,000). There is a collection of works on paper by Mainie Jellett and art by Tim Goulding, Peter Curling, Tony O’Malley, Sean McSweeney, Barrie Cooke, Desmond Carrick,  Roy Lyndsey, Arthur Maderson and many others with estimates from as little as €100.

    Painting and sculpture by many of Ireland’s best loved artists from the 19th century to the present day will feature at Wednesday evening’s sale of Important Irish Art at James Adam. The most expensively estimated lots are The Bog (1911) by Paul Henry (€60,000-€80,000), Spring Morning (1957) by Patrick Collins (€30,000-€50,000)  from the collection of Sir Basil Goulding and K. Knitting by Colin Middleton from the early 1960’s (€15,000-€20,000).  This modernist work in Cubist style depicts the artist’s wife Kathleen in an intimate domestic scene. 

    Aubusson Tapestry entitled Woman and Two Bantam Cocks by Pauline Bewick and Regine Bartsch at James Adam. UPDATE: THIS MADE 6,000 AT HAMMER

    There are estimates of from €10,000-€15,000 on Lot and his Daughters by Dan O’Neill, Being by Louis le Brocquy, Solitude, Lough Neagh by Dan O’Neill and Rebuilding of Monte Cassino by Patrick Hennessy which featured on these pages last Saturday. This work was exhibited at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in 2016 and is one of a number in the sale by Patrick Hennessy and Harry Robertson Craig from the collection of Dublin couple George and Pamela Fegan, friends of both artists. 

    There is a selection of work by women artists like sisters Eva and Letitia Hamilton, Grace Henry, Evie Hone and Pauline Bewick. Bewick is not widely known for her tapestries and the sale offers a collaboration with Kerry based artist Regine Bartsch titled Woman and Two Bantam Cocks.  Woven by Aubusson master weaver Bernard Battu in 2003 it is based on a tapestry woven by Bartsch for Bewick in the mid 1980’s and is estimated at €1,000-€2,000.

    The sale offers 19th century oils by James Arthur O’Connor, John Henry Campbell and Thomas Sautelle Roberts and 20th century sculpture by artists including John Behan, Bob Quinn, Oisin Kelly, Eamon O’Doherty and Patrick O’Reilly.

    The Spring art online sale at Whyte’s celebrates a selection of affordable art from Ireland and around the world. There should be Cork interest in two etchings by James Barry (€500-€700), a pencil drawing by Daniel Maclise (€150-€200) and a miniature portrait of a boy by Adam Buck (€400-€600). There are prints and etchings by William Crozier, Elizabeth Frink, Ronnie Wood, Jack B Yeats, Elizabeth Rivers and Bernard Dunston and a wide selection of work by acclaimed Irish artists.

    Catering for many tastes and both deep and shallow pockets these sales combine to present a fascinating and complex array of beautiful choices.  Now it is over to you….. 

    Wind Blown Tree, Killary by Letitia Marion Hamilton at de Veres. UPDATE: THIS MADE 12,000 AT HAMMER


    Saturday, March 23rd, 2024

    A Shining Palace by William Leech (1881-1968) is among the leading lots at Sotheby’s Irish Auction in Paris this year.  Sales in 2022 and 2023 drew bidders from the UK, US, Canada, Australia, France, Austria and other European countries. In 2024 Sotheby’s will hold a third instalment of this sale from April 25-May 2 with a number of private tours and artists talks while the sale is on view in Paris. Work by Roderic O’Conor, Louis le Brocquy, Sir John Lavery, Gerard Dillon, FE McWilliam, Melissa O’Donnell, Rowan Gillespie, Orla de Bri, Gareth Reid, who was Sky’s Portrait Artist of the Decade and a group of works by Patrick Scott from the artist’s estate will feature.  The auction remains open for consignments until the end of March. Highlights will be on view at Sotheby’s, Molesworth St., Dublin next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (March 26-29).


    Friday, March 22nd, 2024
    Original artwork chosen by Eric Clapton for the cover of Derek and The Dominos 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs

    The Pattie Boyd Collection at Christie’s online realised over seven times the pre-sale high estimate and made a total of £2,818,184 / $3,604,457 / €3,291,639. Providing a remarkable window into the private world of the celebrated model, muse, photographer and icon, the sale was led by the original artwork chosen by Eric Clapton for the cover of Derek and The Dominos 1970 album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs which sold for £1,976,000/ $2,527,304 / €2,307,968 – 33 times the pre-sale high estimate – after a prolonged bidding battle (estimate: £40,000-60,000). This set a new auction record for an original album cover artwork. Bidders registered from 30 countries and 46% of them were new to Christie’s.

    Patti Boyd said: I am completely blown away by the enthusiasm of international bidders for these special treasures that I have always loved. I am so happy that new hearts will now enjoy them, as they enter into their next ‘chapters.’ I am lucky that my life today continues to bring me joy and different adventures – I would encourage people to follow their passions and live their lives with gusto!”


    Friday, March 22nd, 2024
    WILLIAM SCOTT, R.A. (1913-1989) – Blue Cup and Pears sold for £289,000 over a top estimate of £180,000

    The Modern British and Irish Art evening sale at Christie’s in London realised a total of £23,781,300 / $30,226,032 / €27,776,558, a 23% increase year on year. Registered bidders from 15 countries highlighted the global appeal of Modern British and Irish artists. The sale was led by L.S. Lowry’s masterpiece Sunday Afternoon, which sold for £6,290,000, the second highest price achieved for a work by Lowry at auction. The painting was presented from the Collection of Sir Keith and Lady Showering and had not been exhibited publicly for 57 years.

    The appeal of female artists continued as Women’s History Month is celebrated. Pauline Boty’s powerful tribute to Marilyn Monroe, Epitaph to Something’s Gotta Give realised a world auction record for the artist (£1,310,500). Barbara Hepworth’s Sculpture with Colour (Oval Form) Pale Blue and Red, a unique hand-carved work that fuses the constructivist principles Hepworth had pioneered in the late-1930s and a newly awakened sensibility towards her local landscape in Cornwall, achieved £3,549,000. 

    (See posts on for February 9, February 21 and March 13, 2024)