Osborne painting to be moved

 

A Dun Laoghaire yacht club has handed over a work by the Irish artist Walter Osborne to the National Gallery for security reasons.

The Royal Irish Yacht Club decided to offer the Osborne painting to the gallery earlier this month, when informed by its security advisers that its continued display on the waterfront premises could pose a risk.

The "genre scene", entitled Driving a Bargain, is valued by insurers at over €1 million.

The National Gallery of Ireland said that it was delighted to receive the painting, which has been given on a long-term loan basis for five years.

Walter Osborne (1859-1903) is regarded as one of Ireland's finest artists. He is probably best known for his atmospheric Dublin street scene, St Patrick's Close.

The son of an artist, William Osborne, Walter trained at the Royal Hibernian Academy, and was a frequent prizewinner. He also studied in Antwerp under Verlat in 1882-83, and spent 10 years painting landscapes and urban scenes in England, Spain, France and Holland.

The National Gallery already has some of his early landscapes,such as an Apple Garden at Quimperle, which art historian and critic Bruce Arnold has described as having a "wonderful, timeless innocence".

Osborne died in his early forties after he contracted pneumonia.

The Osborne work had been on display in the yacht club for many years, after it was donated by a member of the Hone family.

The club commodore, Mr Fred Espey, said the decision to offer it on loan to the State was a unanimous one, taken by the club's committee and trustees, on the basis that staff employed on the premises could be put at risk if an attempt was made to steal it.

The club planned to ensure that adequate security systems were in place before the loan expired as the painting would eventually be returned, he said.

The National Gallery said it intended to exhibit the work in the near future.