Jack B. Yeats work looks to past and future

Des O’Sullivan casts an eye over the paintings at de Veres sale.

Jack B. Yeats work looks to past and future

Des O’Sullivan casts an eye over the paintings at de Veres sale.

THE 1924 work Tralee shows Jack B. Yeats in the last and most romantic phase of his early style. It comes up at de Veres evening sale of Irish art at the Royal College of Physicians on Kildare Street, Dublin, at 6pm next Tuesday with an estimate of €150,000-€200,000.

Tralee by Jack B Yeats at de Veres.
Tralee by Jack B Yeats at de Veres.

Against a background of post-sunset fading light it shows an old man gazing reflectively at the water with young people passing by. It can be read as a comment on the past and the future.

Emigration had been halted since 1914 by the First World War and the war in Ireland which followed. In 1924 cheap fares to America saw a flood of young people leaving the country. The painting was previously owned both by Sean Lemass and Charles Haughey.

In sharp contrast is Two Elements, a cubist piece from 1924 by Mainie Jellett. A champion of the modern movement in the largely conservative and hostile Irish environment of that time Jellett, who died in 1944, only posthumously achieved recognition for her vital contribution to Irish art.

‘Balcony, Grasse’, by William John Leech (once owned by Lady Hazel Lavery) at de Veres.
‘Balcony, Grasse’, by William John Leech (once owned by Lady Hazel Lavery) at de Veres.

Two Elements is estimated at €40,000-€60,000. The quality sale of 140 lots at de Veres includes two Enignum chairs by Joseph Walsh each estimated at €8,000-€12,000. The collection of the singer Brian Kennedy includes nine works by Patrick Scott.

The auction is on view at de Veres on Kildare Street until next Tuesday. There is art by Louis le Brocquy, John Doherty, Felim Egan, Kenneth Webb, Markey Robinson, William John Leech, Patrick Hennessy, Lady Beatrice Glenavy, Dan O’Neill, Colin Middleton, Tony O’Malley, Charles Tyrrell and numerous others.

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