Jack B Yeats leads new era at de Veres

Smart new viewing gallery opens at the Kildare Street auction house

‘The Bang The Door Boys’ by Jack B Yeats, estimated at €60,000-€80,000, at de Veres. Auction May 24th

‘The Bang The Door Boys’ by Jack B Yeats, estimated at €60,000-€80,000, at de Veres. Auction May 24th

 

‘A fantastic painting” is how fine art auctioneer John de Vere White describes the oddly-titled The Bang The Door Boys by Jack B Yeats. The subject of the oil-on-canvas, dated 1944, is Halloween and the painting depicts three boys engaging in what is nowadays known by the Americanism “trick or treat”.

The painting is the top lot in de Veres’ Irish Art Auction in Dublin on Tuesday.

According to a catalogue note by Dr Róisín Kennedy, an expert on the paintings of Jack B Yeats, “make-believe and dressing up were of constant fascination” to the artist and “in this painting he focuses on three youngsters who are not natural performers but whose masquerade nonetheless provides the basis of a bizarre encounter”.

Explaining the painting she says: “Yeats places the viewer in the position of the householder who is confronted by this strange sight. The children stand demurely in the open doorway. Their reticent manner contrasts with the gregarious way in which they are dressed. Their expressions convey the innocence of childhood and the shyness of children as they timidly confront their spectator. A clown-like mask covers the face of one young boy and this, and the haphazard nature of their costumes, adds to the incongruity of the image”.

The Bang The Door Boys, estimated at €60,000-€80,000, is now on view ahead of the auction.

It is among more than 90 paintings in the sale which also includes work by artists William Conor, Colin Middleton, Roderic O’Conor, Mainie Jellet, Seán McSweeney, Patrick Collins, Charles Brady and Martin Gale. Other highlights include A Pensive Moment, a portrait of a young woman dated 1894, by Walter Frederick Osborne (€12,000-€16,000); and, Waves Breaking On The Shore At Sunset by Roderic O’Conor (€30,000-€40,000) described as “one of O’Conor’s largest known paintings on paper “ which the artist painted “on the wild Breton coast in the closing years of the 19th century”.

In recent years, de Veres has held its viewings and auctions at various south Dublin hotels. Now the company has opened newly-renovated gallery space at its headquarters opposite Leinster House on Kildare Street. The auction itself will take place next door at Buswell’s Hotel. De Veres Irish Art Auction, Tuesday, March 24th at 6pm. Catalogue and viewing times, deveres.ie

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