deVeres Art Blog - Art World Musings


Posted on Nov 12, 2015


Tuesday, 1st December at 6pm
Auction: At The Royal Hibernian Academy, Ely Place, Dublin 

On View At 35 Kildare Street: Friday, 27th Nov. – Tuesday, 1st December

de Veres are holding their highest quality auction of 2015. The auction will be viewed at 35 Kildare St with the sale itself marking a return to The RHA for the first time since 2007.

The supply of top quality Irish paintings to the market has been slow in 2015. We have held back works specifically for this auction, in order to offer the Irish Art buyer a selection at the upper end of the market.

The cover picture is Yeats’ wonderfully ‘dark’ ‘Man in a train thinking’, illustrating the feeling of losing your lotto ticket.


Lot 38: Jack Butler Yeats, MAN IN A TRAIN THINKING, oil, 18” x 24” Est. €200,000-300,000

‘Yeats told a story about ‘Man in a Train Thinking’ at the Royal Hibernian Academy dinner in 1929, reported in the Irish Times (17th April 1929).

Travelling from Dublin to the West of Ireland, he said, he watched a man in the corner of the carriage, who had a woebegone expression, and whose coat and collar were buttoned up to his ears. He looked so wan and sad that the artist said to him: 'Are you ill? Can I do anything to help you?' No sir, thank you,' replied the man. 'You see, it's like this, sir,' he continued. 'I bought a ticket for the Calcutta Sweepstake for a pound note. Then I sold it to a man for two pounds. And now that ticket has won a prize for a hundred thousand,' and he sighed dolefully. 'Great heavens,' exclaimed Mr Yeats, 'if that had happened to me I'd have cut my throat,' and then, to the artist's consternation, his sickly-looking fellow-traveller moaned, 'That's just what I have done sir!'


Lot 23: Louis le Brocquy HRHA, 1916-2012, STILL LIFE, LEMONS, oil, 15” x 18”. Est. €15,000-20,000

Dorothy Walker writes: 'Le Brocquy's intention is to transmute the reality of an object into the reality of an image by the medium of oil paint. The medium is rich, palpable, almost luscious.

Regarding the art of Still Life le Brocquy commented:
“Perhaps this is simply a temporary release from the heads and their rather intense reflective consciousness, their tragic aspect. A return to a simple state of being, emerging in its own nature, filling out its volume of reality with the natural possibilities of its form”

Lot 22: Frederick Edward McWilliam, 1909-1992, BOX FOUR, 1969, bronze, 15” high. Est. €14,000-18,000
This series combined the seated movement of two girls in various poses of listening and chatting, within the confines of a box base, walls and top. McWilliam brings movement into the seated pair by using contrasting surfaces of polished bronze against textured, darkened bronze, with the arm movement of each girl, yet still retaining the box shape.

Roland Penrose wrote in 1964 that “McWilliam is an inventor of styles” and added that “He has above all the understanding and instincts of a poet.” 

Lot 15: William John Leech RHA ROI, 1881-1968, LES ENFANTS ET LES OMBRES, oil, 21 ½” x 28 ¾”. Est. €40,000-60,000

Out of a sun drenched canvas, a sense of fun emanates from ‘Les Enfants et Les Ombres’. Set in a wood beyond fields and the village of Concarneau, children play beneath a tree as a younger child darts out from behind another, possibly playing hide and seek. Yet more children meander down from the village at the top of the composition to join their friends in the wood. This summer idyll is underscored by both Leech’s palette and technique which owe a considerable debt to Van Gogh.

Viewing Times:
Friday, 27th November, 9.30am – 5pm
Saturday 28th, 11am – 5pm
Sunday 29th, 12pm – 5pm
Monday 30th, 9.30am – 6pm
Tuesday, 1st December, 9.30am – 5pm

The catalogue is now available and can be viewed online at

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