Lot Closes In:
Lot 20
Current Bid: €0.00
Bid History: 0 Bids
Estimate: €60,000 - €90,000
Ending: 18:14:15 on 13/06/2023
Paul Henry RHA, 1876-1958
Oil on panel, 10" x 7" (25.3 x 17.7cm).

Provenance: Private Collection, Dublin; Sold these rooms, 30/09/2014 (lot 11) catalogued as Grace Henry. Subsequent additional information provided has resulted ... Read more
Lot 20 - THE HAY STACKER by Paul Henry Lot 20 Paul Henry THE HAY STACKER
Estimate: €60,000 - €90,000
Paul Henry RHA, 1876-1958
Oil on panel, 10" x 7" (25.3 x 17.7cm).

Provenance: Private Collection, Dublin; Sold these rooms, 30/09/2014 (lot 11) catalogued as Grace Henry. Subsequent additional information provided has resulted in the recataloguing of this work; Private Collection, United Kingdom.

This work can be dated to the time shortly after when the Henry's arrived on Achill Island (c.1910-11). Almost certainly the village of Keel, where the artist based himself, the subject matter and colours used are similar to that of 'The Pedlar's Cart' (fig.1) and 'Woman Cutting Rye' (fig.2), both painted at the same period, with the same backdrop and familiar villagers red skirt and garments.

Achill was the central feature in Paul Henry's life. In the people of the island and its landscape he found the subject matter he had perhaps subconsciously been looking for. Achill came as a revelation to him and from the moment he arrived there he knew it was where he wanted to be. After only a couple of days he took his return railway ticket out of his pocket, and in his own words, he 'tore it into small pieces and scattered the fragments into the sea'; he would settle on Achill Island.

Achill was a rugged and barren landscape when the Henrys arrived there. Paul described Keel as the most gregarious of villages, perhaps about fifty houses in all, huddled close together as if for warmth and companionship, devoid of al plan. There was, he said, no order of any kind. There was no street; one could wander among the houses in any direction through stone-walled bohereens. Nearly every cottage had its stone-walled garden or 'haggard' with its tiny grove of sally willows for basket making. And huge stacks of turf were before every door or piled up at the gable ends. There were two or three slated or corrugated iron roofed houses, he went on, 'all the rest of thatched with rye straw which turns such a lovey mole colour under the wind and the salt spray which drives across the village when the wind is in the south and the sea is high'. The little fields of the holdings to the north came right up to the cottage walls, as did the sea in the south.

Paul quickly made friends with many of the Islanders and gradually moulded his life to that of the island. As for drawing and painting, however, he had - certainly to begin with to work furtively, for the belief even then remained that in making images of the people he was somehow or other taking something from them. Known pejoratively to the villagers as 'the sketcher', he had to work either from memory or from a sketchbook concealed behind other papers. Despite these difficulties, he was enthralled by the place.

(Extracts taken from 'Paul Henry' by Dr. S.B Kennedy)
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