28 Mar 2012
Eclectic range of works by Irish artists in Bonhams sale
A painting by Paul Henry entitled A view of Croagh Patrick from Achill Island is one of the Irish highlights of the 20th Century British and Irish Art sale, taking place at Bonhams in London on the 30th May.
Estimated to sell for £10,000 15,000, the painting depicts the mountain Croagh Patrick, nicknamed "the Reek", a renowned site of pilgrimage in honour of St. Patrick, with the last Sunday of each July becoming known as "Reek Sunday". It was on the summit in 441 AD that St Patrick reputedly fasted for forty days, before using the Black Bell to combat the birds and demons that challenged him, and in doing so banished all the snakes from Ireland.
Appearing for the first time at auction, the work most probably dates from 1911 to 1913, and depicts a view of the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick, looking across Clew Bay from Cloghmore on the southernmost tip of Achill Island.
Other works by Irish artists offered in the Bonhams sale include two charming works by Gerard Dillon, Little Boy Playing at God (painted in 1945-6 and estimated to sell for £30,000-50,000) and The Moon Over the Bog (painted in 1954 and estimated to sell for £50,000-70,000). Clearly influenced by Chagall, The Moon Over the Bog is rich in its sense of romance and fantasy, with the stars and decoratively designed moon face looking down over the two lovers. Dillon explained how the painting was inspired by an unforgettable night in Roundstone when he and (fellow artist) Nano Reid were walking home after a late night's drinking. "The moon was so huge and romantic hanging over the land that even the young man in the picture was proposing marriage to the girl to whom he was making love."
Further highlights include an attractive painting entitled Fish by William Scott, initially sold to benefit the Royal Academy of Arts Trust, and estimated to sell for £60,000-80,000, Sir Gerald Festus Kelly's Portrait of Jane with a white shawl XXVII, depicting the artist's wife Lilian Ryan (£7,000-10,000), and Sutton Sands, a view of Sutton Beach at the northern edge of Dublin Bay painted by William John Leech in 1909 (estimated to sell for £7,000-10,000), as well as further works by artists including Jack B. Yeats and William Conor.