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James Humbert Craig RHA RUA (1878-1944) Preparing the Boat
James Humbert Craig RHA RUA (1878-1944) Preparing the Boat oil on board signed lower left h:38.25  w:51 cm. Provenance: Private Collection The Irish landscape painter James Craig was born in Belfast but spent his youth in the countryside of County Down. Craig briefly attended Belfast College of Art where he studied drawing and fine art painting. He took all his inspiration from the scenery, people and culture of Ireland - above all, from what he saw with his two eyes. He never attempted to embellish or distort nature. His job, as a landscape painter was to reflect nature as it was. Despite this fidelity to nature, Craig was not above dramatising his landscape painting in the style of Paul Henry. Also, despite his indifference to Barbizon landscape art, Craig''s plein air painting method was similar to that of the Impressionists, as he was at his happiest out-of-doors either painting or fishing. Many of his colour schemes are consciously sober and the raw beauty of the landscape is expressed in rugged paintwork. He painted in many different locations, including the Glens of County Antrim, as well as the more inhospitable coastal landscapes of Donegal and Galway. A successful painter of his day, Craig exhibited regularly at the Royal Hibernian Academy from 1915 and was elected to both the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA) and the Royal Ulster Academy (RUA). Morgan O'Driscoll
Harry Jones Thaddeus (1860-1929) RHA A Sheep Pen
Harry Jones Thaddeus (1860-1929) RHA A Sheep Pen oil on board signed ''H.J. THADDEUS'' and dated 1894 lower left of centre h:63.50  w:76.50 cm. Provenance: Gorry Gallery, Dublin; Private Collection Though the tone and style of this painting was informed by French rustic naturalism, its subject is more likely to be English. Thaddeus travelled extensively throughout his career, but from the mid-1880s to 1904 was based in London and conducted much of his business in its vicinity. The character and russet tiles of the farm building on the right of the picture are certainly consistent with southern English vernacular architecture. The calm simplicity of the subject - farm workers discussing stock - provides a gentle contrast to the agrarian subjects for which Thaddeus is better known. His most celebrated works include depictions of peasants in moments of heightened emotion or peril (The Wounded Poacher (1880/1, NGI); An Irish Eviction, Co. Galway (1890, private collection; The Poachers (1890''s, private collection)). Animals are extremely unusual in Thaddeus''s work. However, on the evidence of this painting, and a portrait of the artist''s son Freddie with the family dog (c.1904, private collection), a tender and intimate record never intended for public scrutiny, Thaddeus was both comfortable and competent in painting such subject matter. This picture invites comparison with the work of Joseph Malachy Kavanagh (1856-1918), who specialised in pastoral subjects and, like his compatriot and close contemporary Thaddeus, had spent time painting in Brittany in the early 1880''s. Its peculiarities notwithstanding, the painting bears many of the technical hallmarks of the artist''s work. The palette, particularly the distinctive greens, and the orange-brown of the farm building''s roof, recur throughout Thaddeus''s oeuvre. The liberal use of dark outlines around the linear detail, meanwhile, is also characteristic of Thaddeus''s paintings in many genres, as is the assuredness of the drawing. For several decades, Thaddeus enjoyed considerable success and critical acclaim as a society portrait painter, befriending and serving many members of Europe''s royal, aristocratic and political elite. Alternative subjects, like this example, provided him with welcome respite from the exacting demands of formal portraiture, and he displayed on many occasions an inclination to experiment. In this instance, the composition is relatively unorthodox - the horizontal and dramatically foreshortened sheep pen occupies most of the middle ground - and does not adhere to strict academic models. The picture is also larger than one might expect for such an understated subject. The summary description of the foreground and background detail suggest that the painting is unfinished. However, the tonal balance of the work and the rendering of the elements in the middle ground (and an old cart on the left) indicate that the painting is at least very close to its final state. Brendan Rooney, February 2017 Morgan O'Driscoll
William Robinson (20th/21st Century) The Famine
William Robinson (20th/21st Century) The Famine copper - unique - 1.7kg signed h:71  w:45 d:8.50 cm. Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist Private Collection Morgan O'Driscoll
Rosa Serra (b.1944) Spanish Relaxing
Rosa Serra (b.1944) Spanish Relaxing bronze - number 1 from an edition of 9 signed & numbered 1/9 h:17  w:14 d:13 cm. Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist; Private Collection Morgan O'Driscoll
Jimmy Bingham (1925-2009) , The Circus Ring
oil on board signed lower right Morgan O'Driscoll
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