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Whyte's to offer Irish & International art worth over € 1.3 million
Tony O'Malley, Crowscape, 1987. Estimate: €10,000-€15,000.

DUBLIN.- Whyte’s auction of Irish & International Art takes place at 6pm, Monday 1 October 2018 at the RDS, Ballsbridge Dublin. The sale will offer collectors major examples by Irish & International artists including Jack B. Yeats, Paul Henry, Seán Keating, John Lavery, Walter Osborne, Louis le Brocquy and Patrick Heron among many others. Whyte’s invite bidders to view the sale at the RDS, from Saturday through to Monday (day of the sale) 29 September to 1 October 10am-6pm daily.

JACK YEATS - PILOT SLIGO RIVER (Lot 15, €200,000-€300,000) An impressive (18 by 24in.) oil painting by Ireland’s most distinguished artist, dates to 1927 and was selected by Yeats for three major exhibitions during his lifetime including Oireachtas, Dublin (1941). The mythical figure of the pilot is a critical and recurring theme offering insight into Yeats’ childhood in Sligo and his lifelong connection to the sea. Painted in his unique style Dr Róisín Kennedy observes: “the face and head of the pilot are constructed out of unwieldy, thick pink and red paint. His trousers are a rich cacophony of bright reds, blues, yellows and ochres. This daring use of colour could refer simply to the reflection of sunlight, but it is also suggestive of the tenuousness of Yeats' memory of the sailor and his deployment of paint to reinvent the physical reality of his presence. Early examples by Yeats in watercolour, including A Long Way To Go, Races In Devonshire, 1897 (lot 18, €8,000-€12,000), ink Illustration To 'The Judas Tree' (I) 1937 (lot 16, €2,000-€3,000) and a Londoners print (lot 17, €300-€500) should satisfy more modest pockets.

Gracing the catalogue cover is Séan Keating’s Thinking out Gobnet [Portrait of Harry Clarke] 1917, lot 26, €50,000-€70,000. This work was gifted to the stained-glass artist Harry Clarke by Keating when painted, but loaned back to the artist in 1918 for submission to the RHA where he was elected later that year. It is an oil loaded with symbolism and references the artists’ time together on Aran, Orpen's influence in his painting, The Holy Well, 1916 (National Collection), Clarke’s worsening health (he died prematurely of TB in 1931) and crucially his ‘thinking out’ of his magnificent windows in the Honan Chapel, Cork. This painting has been loaned to shows at the Crawford, Cork and McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College in 2016. Paul Henry is represented with three works in oil, the first, illustrated above right, is lot 32, Evening, Silence and Peace, County Mayo, c.1935-1943, €60,000-€80,000 a classic example of his much sought-after tranquil landscapes. A windblown vista in lot 33, The Only Tree in the Burren, 1930-1932, €50,000-€70,000 evidences the influence of Whistler in its restraint palette and limited use of impasto while the smallest of the three, lot 36, Achill €25,000-€35,000, packs a punch with its heavily-laden clouds and bold composition. Another iconic scene of the west can be found in Belfast artist William Conor’s, Digging Seaweed, lot 31 €18,000-€22,000 which sets against a dramatic mountain backdrop two labourers collecting seaweed aided by a donkey and cart.

By contrast, another Belfast native, Sir John Lavery, depicts an exotic nocturnal scene in Tangier, lot 23, Moonlight - The Bridge, 1912 €20,000-€30,000. Set close to Lavery's villa, the property, now passed to S.A.R. Mohammed VI, King of Morocco as a private residence, is no longer accessible to the public. Lot 23 was included in the artist’s retrospective in London in 1916.

Lots 12-14A by Walter Osborne show the artist’s skill as a watercolourist, his early talent for topographical scenes and an earnest depiction of his native county.

Lot 12 At a Child’s Bedside, 1898 €8,000-€12,000 and lot 13, The High Chair, 1894 €6,000-€8,000 both depict the Osborne’s niece Violet and demonstrate his adeptness in the medium and his tender relationship with the child. Both works were included in the artist’s large memorial exhibition in RHA in 1903-1904. A charming early Antwerp scene in oil lot 14 guides €8,000-€10,000 while his Village Street, Rush & Lusk, Co. Dublin, c.1898, lot 14A commands €20,000-€30,000.

A strong offering by the more avantgarde Irish artists include a stunning work by Tony O’Malley, Crowscape, 1987 lot 80, €10,000-€15,000. This work shows the influence of the Bahamian light on his palette; the most sought-after period from his oeuvre. An early Louis le Brocquy, Young Woman, 1961 (lot 68, €15,000-€20,000) is a hauntingly beautiful example from his seminal Presences Series. Other examples by the artist include a watercolour Young Liffey, 1990 (lot 71 €6,000-€8,000) and a number of examples of his lithographic brush drawings from both his Dubliners Series (lot 72) and The Táin (lots 73-78) guides from €1,200 each. The significance of Basil Blackshaw to the visual culture of Northern Ireland cannot be underestimated. A large brooding oil by him can be found in lot 81, Castle & Tree, 1988 €35,000-€45,000 which was included in the artist’s Arts Council of Northern Ireland touring exhibition from 1995-1998 which travelled from Belfast to Dublin, Cork and many galleries in the United States.

Patrick Heron is the subject of a major retrospective exhibiton currently on view at the Tate St. Ives encompassing his early work in the 1940s to his death at the very end of the 20th century. Lot 59, Bedroom, Mousehole, 1946 €60,000-€80,000 marks the genisis of this virtuoso Colourist’s career and would have slotted seemlessly into this critical retrospective which includes works of equivalent brilliance. An Abstract collage by Heron’s contemporary, Sir Terry Frost, lot 63 guides €6,000-€8,000 while prints by William Scott [lots 65-67] range from €1,500 up to €4,000.

An intriguing lot by American artist Robert Indiana, Love Cup, is the final lot in the sale [lot 168, €1,000-€1,500]. Designed in 1995 to commemorate President Bill Clinton's White House Conference for Trade and Investment in Ireland, it was manufactured by Mullingar Pewter in a limited edition of 300. This quirky lot is accompanied by a White House pen and a letter of thanks from President Clinton to the present owner.

For those with more traditional tastes, looking for the ‘period pictures’ this sale offers a Romantic Wicklow landscape by James Arthur O’Connor, lot 103 €8,000-€10,000 dating to 1837. Early topographical views of Dublin city [lots 101 (& 102 illustrated) €5,000-€7,000 each] by William Sadler II offer a delightful insight into how Dublin Castle, Dame Street and Sackville Street (later O’Connell St) looked in the early 1800s. Examples similar to these are on display in the National Collection, NGI Dublin. Very fine examples by the prolific watercolourist and entertainer Percy French can be found in lots 911, guides from €1,500 to €3,000] while a fascinating Portrait of Sir Richard Bolton, Lord Chancellor of Ireland [lot 106 €4,000€6,000] will attract history aficionados.

Archetypal scenes by Markey Robinson and impasto laden canvases by Liam O’Neill, landscapes by Cecil Maguire, Kenneth Webb, James Humbert Craig, Frank McKelvey, Charles Brady, Crozier William and Seán McSweeney and a compelling composite work by Hughie O’Donoghue. Dublin characters from the stage and street are depicted in typical idiosyncratic style by Harry Kernoff while a costume design and early watercolour by Gate cofounder Mícheál MacLíammóir will amuse theatre buffs. A select offering of sculpture by Rory Breslin, Liam Butler and American-based duo “Popliteo” complements the sale offering.

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