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  • Posts Tagged ‘Richard Brydges Beechey’


    Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022
    Captain Richard Brydges Beechey , RHA (1808-1895 – Sybil Head, Near the Blaskets and Dingle, West of Ireland 1884

    THIS dramatic oil on board of Sybil Head in Co. Kerry by Richard Brydges Beechey made a hammer price of 56,000 at Fonsie Mealy’s sale of Irish and International Art today. It had been estimated at 30,000-50,000. One of Beechey’s finest marine paintings, Sybil Head depicts three currachs braving rough seas beneath jagged rocks at the north west tip of the Dingle Peninsula. To the left, a sailing vessel, perhaps a naval brig, bears down on the currachs, while to the right a hooker approaches from Ferriter’s Cove. Cormorants take flight and seagulls land on the rough seas. A floating tree trunk lies in the path of the brig; Beechey used details such as these to introduce a sense of danger to his paintings. To the right, a mountain, one of the ‘Three Sisters’, is silhouetted against the stormy sky.  He joined the Royal Navy at the age of 14 and art formed part of his training. He rose to the rank of Admiral and became one of Ireland’smost accomplished marine painters. This work is from the Joe McGrath Collection of Cabinteely House, Dublin.

    Among other hammer prices a pencil portrait of a young woman by Augustus John made 5,000; a portrait of Iseult Gonne by Maud Gonne made 12,000; a watercolour Connemara landscape by Paul Henry made 17,000: a landscape by William Ashford made 15,000; a portrait of the artist’s wife Grace Knewstub by Willam Orpen made 16,000; a portrait of James Hugh Smith Barry by Orpen made 19,000: Soleil en Foret by Roderic O’Conor made 40,000; Aran Folk by Maurice MacGonigal made 17,000 and Sunshine and Shadow by Dorothea Sharpe made 11,000.


    Wednesday, April 7th, 2021
     Entrance to Cork Harbour (1874-75) by Richard Brydges Beechey (1808-1895)  €30,000-€50,000) UPDATE: THIS MADE 38,000 AT HAMMER

    The magnificent entrance to Cork Harbour is depicted in detailed works by two 19th century artists at Morgan O’Driscoll’s sale of Irish and International Art on April 19.  Rear Admiral Richard Brydges Beechey shows two sailing vessels at Roches Point in what former Crawford Gallery curator Peter Murray describes in a catalogue note as one of his finest maritime paintings. The dramatic oil shows a small lugger in the foreground – almost certainly a Cork pilot vessel –  heading towards a two masted brigantine making its way with difficulty towards the open sea. Roches Point lighthouse and coastguard cottages are in the background and a signal tower dating to Napoleonic times is seen on the right.  The painting dates to 1874-75. In a painting dating to about 25 years earlier Cobh artist George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson shows a three masted barque passing Roches Point as it leaves Cork Harbour. The southerly wind is not in the ships favour. The lighthouse was rebuilt in 1839 and the picture is thought to be around 1850.  Peter Murray points to the acute observation of sky and cloud formations and   accurate rendering of ships and their rigging as testament to Atkinson’s training as a ships carpenter and his years as an inspector of shipping in Cork Harbour.

    A Barque passing Roches Point lighthouse, at the entrance to Cork Harbour (c.1850) by George Mounsey Wheatley Atkinson (€6,000-€9,000). UPDATE: THIS MADE 8,500 AT HAMMER