A boost for portrait painting


THE SELF-PORTRAIT by artist Leo Whelan, which attracted considerable interest when it went on view at the RDS last weekend sold for €24,000 at Whyte’s Irish and British Art Auction on Monday night.

The 100-year-old painting, titled The Mirror comfortably exceeded its estimate of €15,000-€20,000. Another – though very different – self-portrait, by artist George Collie, which was hung alongside Whelan’s painting at the viewing, made €9,000 (€4,000-€6,000).

The highest price of the evening was achieved for a Jack B Yeats painting titled Crossing The City – a 1929 view of central Dublin – which made €98,000, just short of its lower estimate of €100,000.

A 1941 watercolour by Harry Kernoff titled Davy Byrne’s Pub, Duke Street, From The Bailey, Dublin made €29,000 – again just within reach of its lower estimate of €30,000.

Other prices of note were achieved for Brigid by Daniel O’Neill, €37,000 (€20,000-€30,000); Import by Cian McLoughlin, €30,000 (€30,000-€40,000); Encounter by Gerard Dillon, €25,000 (25,000-€35,000); and, Autumn Promenade by Norah McGuinness, €20,000 (€15,000-€20,000).

A Breton coastal scene by Roderic O’Conor made €17,000 (€15,000-€20,000) while a 1987 painting by Tony O’Malley, titled An Tóinne sold for €16,000 (€15,000-€18,000).

Among the more affordable lots, Fair Day, Ardara, County Donegal by Ivan Sutton made €1,600 (€1,800-€2,200); Katie Taylor by Michael Hanrahan, €1,200 (€1,200-€1,500) and The Yawn (a skit on Munch’s Scream) by John Schwatschke made €700 (€800-€1,200).

“Overall,” said auctioneer Ian Whyte, “62 per cent of the 250 lots sold”. – MP