Jack B Yeats painting not seen for 50 years to feature in London art sale

The Bonhams auction, which includes work by Paul Henry, Sir John Lavery, Roderic O’Conor and William John Leech, will have a Dublin viewing this week

 

A painting by Jack B Yeats valued at up to £200,000 (€224,000), unseen in public for more than 50 years will go on display in Dublin on Monday at Bonhams Auctioneers in Molesworth Street. Water Front is one of the Irish paintings scheduled to go under the hammer at Bonhams in London in the November sale of Modern British and Irish Art at New Bond Street.

Water Front, (see photograph), which depicts three men standing on a quayside in a west of Ireland town, is an oil-on-canvas measuring 14 x 21in (35.5 x 53.4 cm). It was painted in 1947 and is estimated at £150,000 to £200,000. It was last seen when loaned to an exhibition in Belfast in 1965. The vendor is described as “private collection, UK”. Previous owners include a Fr Breen who acquired it directly from the artist and then Mrs JE Allnatt of Bagenalstown, Co Carlow.

It is one of three paintings by Jack B Yeats at Bonhams and will be on view at 31 Molesworth Street for three days from Monday, October 24th, to Wednesday, October 26th, from 10am to 4.30pm. Matthew Bradbury, head of the Modern British and Irish Art Department at Bonhams, London, will give a talk on the pictures included in the exhibition, at 2pm on Monday in Bonhams Dublin gallery.

The other Yeats paintings are A Soldier of Fortune dating from 1948 (£50,000-£80,000); and Fresh and Salt dating from 1944 (£30,000-£50,000), which were both owned by a private English collector, the late Hillel Bender Esq of Newcastle upon Tyne who had bought them from the Victor Waddington Gallery in London.

Other highlights on view include Killary Bay by Paul Henry being sold by a private Irish collector who acquired it at the Gorry Gallery in Dublin in the 1980s and now estimated at £30,000-£50,000; Moonlight – The Bridge by Sir John Lavery was last sold at Whyte’s in Dublin in 2005 for €40,000 and is now being re-sold by a private Irish collector with an estimate of £18,000-£25,000; and Nude Bathing by Roderic O’Conor (£50,000-£80,000) an oil-on-canvas dating from the late 1890s when the Roscommon-born artist was working in Brittany. According to the catalogue note: “Nude Bathing is one of only four oil paintings of bathers to survive from O’Conor’s hand. Collectively they count amongst his most sensual, personal and boldly executed works.” A more affordable lot is Back Gardens by William John Leech (£8,000-£12,000). The auction will take place in London on November 23rd.

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