Strong Selection of Works by Irish Artists at Modern British and Irish Sale in London

The Irish artist Paul Henry, whose painting Bog Pool is to be offered at Bonhams Modern British and Irish Art in London on Wednesday 20 November, sometimes took a dim view of the world. In a letter to the work's owner he wrote 'Personally I have often thought what is the good of painting little pictures of beautiful things when the world seems so full of ugly thoughts and deeds." He did, however, concede: "but if these little pictures have brought any beauty and sweetness into some people's lives their existence has been justified."

Bog Pool, estimated at £60,000-80,000 has remained in the same private collection for more than 100 years since its acquisition from the artist in around 1917. The family supported Paul Henry in his early career, purchasing a number of paintings. A collection of six letters from Paul Henry to them with more observations on his work is included with this work.

Bonhams Director of Modern British and Irish Art, Penny Day said: "Turf stacks and bogs featured prominently in Henry's oeuvre throughout his career, but between 1916-18 he painted a number of very specific compositions on this theme. Although we can't be certain about the precise location depicted in Bog Pool, the work does bear a close similarity to another of Henry's painting, Turf Stacks in Donegal, from the same period."

Other highlights by Irish artists in the sale include

Still Life with Fish, by William Scott (1913-1989). Estimate: £70,000-100,000. Painted in the mid-1950s, Still Life with Fish reflects the profound influence on Scott's work of his first visit to New York in 1953. In the artist's own words, "My experience in America gave me a determination to re-paint much that I had left unfinished in terms of the symbolic still life."

Bacchus by Rowan Gillespie (1953-). Estimate: £15,000-25,000.

Nude by Basil Blackshaw (1932-2016). Estimate: £10,000-15,000.

The Smooth Red Rock by Daniel O'Neill (1920-1974). Estimate: £8,000-12,000.

Summer Storm by William Crozier (1930-2011). Estimate: £7,000-10,000.


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