Whyte’s (Dublin) Sale of Important Irish Art – At the RDS on Monday 21st May, 2012

Monday 21st May next sees Whyte’s Sale of ‘Important Irish Art’ take place at the RDS in Ballsbridge. The company’s Managing Director, Ian Whyte, says it is one of the most valuable sales to have been held by his firm in recent years. Amongst the many undoubted treasures on offer are works by Louis le Brocquy, Paul Henry, Jack B Yeats, Sir John Lavery, James Humbert Craig, Frank McKelvey and a host of other big names.  As Whyte’s pre-sale press release points out, in a sign of the times a number of the works come from a corporate collection in Northern Ireland being offered by the liquidator. With a lot of fine art now coming on the market in the next few weeks, in the middle of a very serious economic downturn, it will be interesting to see if prices hold up or will there be bargains to be had. Sotheby’s sale of ‘British & Irish Art’ on May 10th saw half the Irish lots on offer go unsold – including two works by Louis le Brocquy – whether this is a foretaste of things to come only time will tell. I imagine things will pan out in much the same way as the property market and quality will hold its value – so keep away from the work of Sean Scully, Michael Mulcahy, William Crozier etc.etc. To my mind the Paul Henry paintings in the sale are head and shoulders above the Le Brocquy and Yeats works and, in all probability, much more affordable!

Lot.44. ‘The Curragh’ a watercolour by Louis le Brocquy. Est. €5,000 – €6,000

Lot.63. ‘The Pontoon’ oil on board by Jack B Yeats. Est.€50,000 – €70,000

I wouldn’t give either wall space but then I’m only a peasant and am not sophisticated enough to appreciate ‘fine’ art! Give me the chocolate box art that launched a thousand railway posters any time – Paul Henry, the undisputed master of the genre, has four wonderful paintings in the sale. No need for any member of the intelligentsia to explain what the artist was trying to convey either!

Lot.76. ‘Cottages, West of Ireland’ oil on canvas by Paul Henry. Est.€60,000 – €80,000

Pre-sale videos, online catalogues etc. here: http://www.whytes.ie/


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