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Whyte's announces a flagship auction of important Irish art
Paul Henry RHA (1876-1958), The Lake, 1928. Oil on board. 15 by 21in. Estimate: €80,000-€100,000 (£67,230-£84,030 approx.)
DUBLIN.- Whyte's forthcoming auction offers collectors an abundance of choice from Ireland’s master artists: Paul Henry, Jack Butler Yeats, Roderic O’Conor, Sir John Lavery, Aloysius C. O’Kelly and many others. The art market has strengthened significantly in the past 2 years with the very well-known names proving to be highly-sought after. Astute collectors recognising value and significance of the artworks coming to the market. Viewing for this auction takes place from 23 to 25 November at the RDS, Ballsbridge Dublin.

The star lot in this winter sale is Paul Henry’s The Lake [lot 14, €80,000-€100,000]. Painted in 1928 - a period of domestic turmoil for Henry - it shows the artist at the height of the artistic ability. Here he finds solace in the beauty of the West which is captured to dramatic effect. A heavy cumulous cloud dominates the backdrop and arrests the eye above a cluster of cottages. In the foreground the viewer is treated to soft painterly brushstrokes and rich impasto which leads the eye into the composition. A timeless masterpiece, The Lake comprises all elements one would associate with Henry’s oeuvre. Two other examples by him are offered in subsequent lots, Western Landscape, c.1918-1919 [lot 15, €40,000-€50,000] an atmospheric oil looking across Blacksod Bay Co. Mayo with threatening clouds above and A Bog Road, c.1929-1930 an utterly charming Connemara scene [lot 16, €30,000-€40,000] with a distinctive lavender hue and dynamic composition with the reflection of passing clouds seen in a bog pool in the foreground. An early illustration by Henry titled A Visit to the Beehives, 1905 [lot 22, €3,000-€5,000] offers an alternative to the landscapes while superb examples by his contemporaries, Charles Lamb and James H. Craig can be found in lots 10 - 13 with guides from €2,500 to €8,000.

CHEAP NAGS, MURDER and A STUCK UP ARTISTE… Jack Butler Yeats revelled in recording drama and the three lots in this sale are testament to this.

On The Stones - The Cattle Market, Caledonian Road, Selling Cheap Nags, c.1905 [lot 19, €15,000-€20,000] is a lively pen and ink that illustrates the crowds, chaos and curious happenings from bygone years in London. The noise and excitement is seen in the sprinting horse in the centre whose handler shouts down to a passing dogcart. Another man stands in his cart waving a whip at the vehicle while behind him a camel makes an exotic addition to the line-up. A Stuck Up Artiste [lot 20, €2,000-€3,000 is a comical little drawing with a circus theme, while the Illustration to the Collegians, 1904 [lot 21, €5,000-€7,000] explores a darker topic; the real-life murder story that inspired Dion Boucicault's Colleen Bawn.

LAVERY’S LADIES
Belfast born Sir John Lavery is represented by portraits of two beauties of the 1920s, Mrs E. Bowen-Davies, 1923 [lot 17, €30,000-€50,000] and a lady thought to be Mrs Ralph Peto [lot 18, €15,000-€20,000]. Each is superbly painted, the first draped in a string of pearls and plunging décolletage, the second, in costume with a garland on her head and striking crimson lips. Both are sure to seduce bidders, particularly fans of Downton Abbey!

THE IRISH ABROAD…Roderic O’Conor, Aloysius O’Kelly and Walter Osborne all travelled the Continent and were exposed to avant-garde trends which they adapted and made their own. Examples by each in this sale show their unique adaptation of these movements. O’Conor’s expressive Nude in the Studio [lot 40, €25,000-€35,000] is typical of his Parisian work from 1904. The harmony of colour and rich textured finish engage the viewer. Familiar components; the favoured model, iron stove and green throw are all elements of his studio work at this time. Another interior this time set in Brittany by Aloysius C. O’Kelly [lot 37, €25,000-€35,000] shows women in a kitchen and is reminiscent of the Realist movement synonymous with France in the late 1880s early 1900s. Another scene by O’Kelly, Breton Farmyard [lot 39, €10,000- €15,000] explores labour outdoors and is bathed in a warm light. Closer to home, Walter Osborne’s delightful Village Street, Rush & Lusk, Co. Dublin [lot 29, €15,000-€20,000] intimately records the everyday activities of life in Co. Dublin in the late 1890s. His premature death at the age of 43 accounts for the scarcity of his paintings and his prices achieved. Osborne’s friend, Louth man Nathaniel Hill is a rarity at auction; his Turnip Gathering, c.1889 [lot 28, €1,500-€2,000] is sure to be spotted by astute collectors.

TWO WOMEN BY THE SEA by Daniel O’Neill [lot 67, €20,000-€30,000] is one of the strongest examples by the artist to come on the market in recent times. A powerful double portrait, it combines two of O’Neill’s passions: women and landscape in a harmonious palette of blues and greys. O’Neill’s contemporaries feature with watercolours of Belfast, At Night Near The Falls Road [lot 70, €500-€700] and the West, White Horses And Lovers [Inishlacken] [lot 63, €2,000-€3,000] by Gerard Dillon. Two large crayon and watercolours by William Conor typify his recordings of ordinary life in his native city, Rainy Day, Belfast [lot 43, €18,000-€22,000] and Girl Playing An Accordion [lot 41, €15,000-€18,000] while a smaller scene of a horse and cart from 1910 caters to the more modest budget [lot 42, €3,000-€5,000].

MODERN MASTERPIECES…
Mainie Jellett is one of the pioneers of Modern art in Ireland and Death of Procris, 1929 [lot 52, €30,000-€50,000] is an example of her adaptation of the theories of rotation and translation learned in Paris and put into practice in this large oil. It has been widely exhibited but never offered for sale until now coming to auction by descent from the family of former National Gallery Director Dr James White. This is a rare opportunity for bidders to own a work of true museum worthy status.

Tony O’Malley’s has been widely recognised for his contribution to contemporary art in Ireland. Clare Island Greys, 1984 [lot 81, €15,000-€25,000] comes from the prestigious collection of the late Jim O’Driscoll SC and it has been widely exhibited in recent years including at 'An Irish Vision' presented by the Phillips Collection Washington DC as part of the Kennedy Centre festival in 2000. The Butler Gallery Kilkenny is currently showing a major collection of self-portraits by O’Malley, lot 195 is from this genre and dates to 1964 €1,000-€1,500. Other examples from the O’Driscoll Collection include a large John Shinnors, [lot 100, €10,000-€15,000], Cecil King from 1985, [lot 75, €2,500-€3,500] and Mayo Landscape by Martin Gale, [lot 94, €6,000-€8,000]. The late Louis le Brocquy is represented by a wonderful watercolour, Tennis Courts in May, Kenilworth Square, Dublin, 1944 [lot 55, €5,000-€7,000] his parents lived at no. 51 on the square and this work is likely to turn the heads of current Rathgar residents. BALLAGH REVISITS the 1970s in his homage to Goya’s Third of May [lot 89, €20,000-€30,000] an earlier, even larger version of this work is in the collection of the Municipal Gallery Hugh Lane, Dublin. This contemporary work addresses Irish social and political issues by using a Spanish subject and the easy-to-read language of Pop Art.

HEADS UP…an early diptych Brother/Sister, 1988 by Martin Gale [lot, 91 €15,000-€20,000] will be one to watch while Edward McGuire’s portrait of Ulick O’Connor [lot 90, €8,000-€10,000] will be another interesting addition to the sale. Equestrian enthusiasts will fancy their chances with Basil Blackshaw’s early Horses Exercising, 1965 [lot 96, €4,000-€5,000] or the more contemporary Peter Curling with Maiden Hurdle, Clonmel [lot 7, €15,000-€20,000]. Further examples from the Estate of Desmond Carrick will also be offered following the very successful sale in September of the first portion of the collection. Sculpture by John Behan, Edward Delaney, Sandra Bell and Markey Robinson as well as stained-glass by James Scanlon and 3D wall-hangings by Ciarán Lennon all make a wonderful counterpoints to the paintings on offer.

WATCH OUT FOR… The Polish Princesses by St. George Hare and works by Nathaniel Hone, James Arthur O’Connor, Edwin Hayes, Frank Egginton, Evie Hone, Harry Kernoff, Seán Keating, Kenneth Hall, Maurice MacGonigal, Charles Brady, Patrick Collins, George Gillespie, Kenneth Webb, William Scott, George Russell, Gladys Maccabe, “Rasher”, Pauline Bewick, Alice Maher & many more.

VIEWING - Viewing will be at the RDS, Anglesea Road entrance, Ballsbridge with an opening night, Friday 22 November, 6-8pm and from Saturday to Monday, 23 to 25 November 10am to 6pm daily. The auction will take place in the same venue on Monday 25 November at 6pm, and will be broadcast live at www.whytes.ie



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