Des O’Sullivan previews Whyte’s sale which features a number of leading names from the Irish art world
THE artist LS Lowry, one of Britain’s favourite painters, loved to visit Ireland. Proud of his Irish roots, he completed paintings dated 1956, 1964, 1969 and 1970 with scenes in Dublin, Skerries, Drogheda and Belfast. In fact, this was the only country he travelled to outside of Britain.
Drogheda 1970 — complete with a few small matchstick figures by Lowry — comes up at Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art at the RDS on Monday evening.
Made with coloured inks on paper and measuring just 12” x 16” it is estimated at €15,000-€20,000.
The top works in the sale of 205 lots are by Jack Butler Yeats and Paul Henry.
The Quay Worker’s Home by Yeats is estimated at €60,000-€80,000, Henry’s Western Landscape has an estimate of €100,000-€150,000.
Following a very successful €1 million-plus sale in March, with 90% of lots sold and many works selling ahead of estimate, Whyte’s are optimistic about this upcoming auction.
There is a series of works by Irish women artists. Lilian Lucy Davidson’s Potato Harvest from 1931 has an estimate of €30,000-€40,000 and is one of three works by Davidson in the sale.
There are three pieces by Norah McGuinness and work by Mary Swanzy, Evie Hone, Mainie Jellett, Gladys MacCabe and Countess Markievicz.
Nurses by Nevill Johnson, an atmospheric piece exhibited at the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in 1953, is one of his few surviving paintings from the 1952-1953 period. It is estimated at €10,000-€15,000.
Milles Têtes (Thousands of Heads) by Louis le Brocquy is a tapestry that has not been seen at auction before.
It is estimated at €40,000-€60,000 and this piece was once in the collection of Tony O’Reilly.
A collection of Táin prints by le Brocquy is offered at €1,500-€2,000 each.
Genesis, 1967, by Colin Middleton is estimated at €30,000-€40,000.
Among the artists featured are William Leech, William Orpen, James Humbert Craig, Frank McKelvey, George Barret, William Crozier, Donald Teskey, Diana Copperwhite and Seán McSweeney.
Viewing takes place from 10am to 6pm daily for the next three days and the auction will get underway at 6pm on Monday.