Portraits by leading Irish artists in Whyte’s art sale

A painting once stolen by Martin Cahill among auction highlights

Sat, Sep 28, 2013, 00:00

A painting once stolen by the notorious Dublin criminal Martin Cahill, known by his nickname, “the general” is among the highlights in Whyte’s art auction.

Portrait of Eileen M Le Poer Trench, 1903, by Irish artist Walter Frederick Osborne will go on view at the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin from this morning until the auction on Monday evening.

The Edwardian painting, with an estimate of €20,000-€30,000, was once owned by the well-known art collector, the late Supreme Court judge, Mr Justice James Murnaghan. It was stolen, along with dozens of other paintings, from the home of his widow, Alice, on Fitzwilliam Street in 1988. Gardaí later recovered the portrait and some of the other paintings in a shed in Rathfarnham in south Dublin and these were auctioned when Mrs Murnaghan died in 1999. Whyte’s said the picture was one of “three outstanding examples of portraiture” in the auction.

A classic Sir John Lavery portrait of a London aristocrat, painted in 1919, The Lady Parmoor is estimated at €30,000-€50,000. Lady Parmoor achieved notoriety by campaigning against the first World War and later became the leader of the World YWCA and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. In stark contrast, Sir William Orpen’s Portrait of Captain Colin David Brodie, dating from 1928, and estimated at €20,000-€30,000 depicts a dashing Scottish army officer. The painting was a wedding gift from Orpen to Brodie’s wife Daphne Cecil Rosemary Harmsworth, daughter of Lord Harmsworth.

A pencil drawing, Portrait Of John FitzGerald Kennedy, commissioned by the owners of a hotel in Northern Ireland from the artist Frank McKelvey following the US president’s assassination in 1963, is estimated at €2,000-€3,000. A print of the late US senator Edward Kennedy by Andy Warhol (number 216 from an edition of 300) is estimated at €4,000-€6,000.

Among other highlights are A Corner of the Farmyard by Walter Osborne (€20,000-€30,000) and An Achill Bog by Paul Henry (€30,000-€40,000).

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