Be the first to like this
Important Irish Art,, 28th May 2014 at 6pm
VENUE 26 St.Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2,
The collection of Irish paintings and sculptures which contributes so much to the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of Deepwell always seems to be part of the ‘landscape’ of the house. It is so arranged - a bronze by Jerome Connor here, a canvas by Nathaniel Hone there – and it moves from room to room so freely - Roderic O’Conors and Leechs regularly change places – that it hardly seems a collection at all. It appears more like a group of objects that complements a family’s way of life. This is an Irish home, elegantly appointed, and situated in so magnificent a setting with stupendous views across Dublin Bay, that it seems Italianate in its beauty; but there is nothing foreign about the collection. It is intensely Irish from the landscapes of James Humbert Craig to the important Irish Art Sale.
It is with the group of sculptures by Jerome Connor – now recognised as one of Irelands’ finest sculptors’ – that one comes closest to actual patronage. Most of these were purchased from the artist’s studio at a time when, after his bankruptcy in 1939, he needed patrons.
Similar subject matter, though less rugged than in the canvases of Keating and O’Sullivan, is to be found in other paintings acquired for Deepwell at this time: superb Connemara and Mayo landscapes by James Humbert Craig and the wild Donegal coast as depicted by Frank McKelvey. Jack Butler Yeats – Ireland’s most famous painter – is copiously represented at Deepwell with five pictures bought in the short space of two years between 1942 and 1944. The large Fair Day, Co. Mayo (sold in these rooms: Important Irish Art Sale, 28th September 2011, Lot 50 for an Irish record price of one million euro), painted in 1925, is the most impressive of these, but the much smaller A Dusty Rose (Lot 74), exhibited at the Academy in 1940, is the most lyrical.