A new exhibition of Rembrandt’s prints is now on display at the Crawford Gallery in Cork. The free show, which has been on hold for the past 16 months, represents 50 of the Dutch Master’s finest works from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, and is the only venue in Ireland where these works can be seen.
It is fitting that Rembrandt is being exhibited in the historic gallery at Emmet Place – once the city's Custom House – as Cork was a thriving merchant port, due in part to Dutch trade. In collaboration with Cork Printmakers, a print studio will be set up in the gallery to explore tools, practices and processes with workshops and online resources.
Two fine-art sales are taking place in Dublin this week. Whyte’s of Molesworth Street autumn auction will see €1 million of Irish and international art come to the market on Monday. It will be a virtual sale, whereby bidder participation will be via the internet, telephone, email and post, and the sale will be broadcast live from the saleroom with real-time bidding, but no in-person attendance.
Highlights include A Village in Connemara by Paul Henry. With auction records broken twice in the past year for Henry, it shows that the appetite of collectors is stronger than ever, and this typical example is sure to attract competitive bidding. The work, which is centred on a windswept tree and was listed with an estimate of €60,000-€80,000, was purchased by Lieut Col Frank Stanton, a Canadian who was based in Ireland during the first World War, who bought it directly from the artist along with five others.
Fans of Daniel O’Neill have two choices of fine examples from the mostly self-taught Belfast painter. Harvesters Picnic described as “a nocturnal, ominous dreamtime” is listed at €30,000-€40,000, while the “imaginative, often haunting” Culdaff, Co Donegal, is seeking €15,000-€20,000.
From the Yeats family are works by sisters Lily and Elizabeth. Set in a large frame is Trees at Night, depicting a woodland scene on blue poplin by Lily Yeats. The embroidered scene, which is larger than her typical known pieces, is set in a frame by James Hicks, an accomplished cabinet maker of his time (€8,000-€12,000).
Also in the catalogue are works by Bob Dylan (lots 101 and 102, €1,500-€2,000) and David Bowie – Head (€5,000-€7,000). Bowie painted several pictures during rehearsal breaks but destroyed most of them, and this piece was created in Preproduction Room 1 at The Factory in Ringsend, Dublin, in 1997 where the singer was rehearsing for his Earthling Tour, and was acquired by the current owner from a fellow employee at The Factory. The sale also features works by John Shinnors, Tony O'Malley, Cecil Maguire, Donald Teskey, Louis le Brocquy, Letitia Hamilton and Hughie O'Donoghue.
On Wednesday, Adam's of St Stephens' Green will open its doors to the public for a live in-person sale. Bidders will also be able to buy online and by absentee bidding in the sale of more than 140 lots. One of the top lots is Farewell to Rosses Point by Jack B Yeats – who is currently celebrated at the Painting and Memory exhibition at the National Gallery to mark the 150th anniversary of his birth. This painting is apt because memory also plays a significant role, as it is evocative of his time as a boy in Sligo, where he regularly travelled on pilot boats that guided merchant ships to Sligo town. This is the first time it has come to the market. It was purchased directly from the artist by Dr LB Somerville Large in 1946, and came by descent to the current owners (€120,000-€160,000).
A watercolour by Yeats, from the collection of Dr Karl Mullen, depicting a group of young boys playing handball also features is based on a scene the aritist painted in Swinford, Co Mayo, when he visited with JM Synge in 1905. The Manchester Guardian had commissioned the pair to write and illustrate a series of articles about the congested districts (€20,000-€30,000).
Walter Frederick Osborne’s The Pump of St Nicholas, Antwerp, “which introduced a dramatic new strand of realism to Irish art”, was first exhibited in Dublin in 1883. It was one of the first en plein air paintings that the artist painted on the Continent. It is estimated at €70,000-€100,000 and was previously in the collection of bookseller Fred Hanna.
Self Portrait with Window and Table by William J Leech is evocative of dappled light on foliage found in his more famous A Convent Garden, Brittany, in the National Gallery on Merrion Square. The former painting was done in the later years of his life. His expression in the work is said to signify his disillusion with his own achievements as a painter, despite the huge recognition he received for his art. Leech struggled financially, often making his own frames to save money (€20,000-€30,000).