Lavery and Kernoff in Bonhams’ London art auction


Like the other big London auction houses, Bonhams no longer holds dedicated Irish art sales. Instead, paintings by Irish artists will be included in the Modern British and Irish Art sale in New Bond Street on Wednesday, May 29th. The highlight is a painting by Sir John Lavery, one of four by him in the sale, entitled The New Moon/Moonrise , a classic Edwardian image of summer, depicting a woman in white by the seaside; facing her in the distance, is a faint coastline, above which the new moon is rising. She is the artist’s wife Hazel, Lady Lavery, and the painting was made at their Moroccan holiday home, Dar-el-Midfah
near Tangier in 1909. The estimate is £70,000-£100,000 (€82,000-€120,000).

The publication of a first biography, Harry Kernoff – The Little Genius by Kevin O’Connor, has prompted renewed interest in the 20th- century Dublin artist whose oil, Byzantine Madonna , has an estimate of £5,000-£9,000 (€5,900-€9,400). According to O’Connor, the Madonna was inspired by Madame Desirée Bannard-Cogley, known as Toto, a leading figure in Dublin theatrical circles from the 1920 to the 19 40s. She was Kernoff’s “muse, temptress, goddess, and eventually, when passion waned . . . friend”. – MP

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