Much to the impish glee of his caddie, the Belfast born painter Sir John Lavery (1856-1941) admitted that he was 'not much of a golfer'. More interested in the visual drama than the actual game, Lavery would project all his ambition to portray the best swing for a drive. The present painting, The Golf Links, North Berwick, a highlight of our Scottish Art sale on 22 November, demonstrates Lavery's affiliation with the Glasgow Boys, a group of painters influenced by the French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Painted near the entrance of Westerdunes, Sir Patrick Ford's villa, The Golf Links, North Berwick depicts the 13th oldest golf club in the world, also known as North Berwick Golf Club.
Of the four Scottish Colourists, it is John Duncan Fergusson’s admiration of the female body and rhythmic lines that have made him stand out as the most versatile and experimental. Fergusson was a proud Scotsman but it was during time spent in Paris and in particular the South of France, among his circle of friends, which included Derain and Picasso, that he felt a true sense of artistic freedom. This affinity for the French Riviera can be seen in Cassis Bay, a highlight from our forthcoming Scottish Art auction in London on 22 November, which is a spontaneous work full of warm colours and refracted sunlight. Fergusson was also a devoted admirer of les fauves, and his painting Amongst the Rocks, Cap d’Antibes, another striking highlight from the sale, demonstrates the influence of Matisse and Cézanne in particular with its bold linear brushstrokes and complex handling of tone and colour.
Built in 1260 for the Knights Templar, Bisham Abbey in Buckinghamshire is now home to the National Sports Centre, and Team GB's training facility for their recent Rio campaign. But in the 1920s, it was home to Mary Borden and her family. It was here, after a career as a nurse on the front line of the First World War, that she spent the next few years of her life writing – both poetry and personal accounts of her time tending to the wounded of the battlefields of Northern Europe. Celebrated Irish artist Sir John Lavery visited her at Bisham Abbey in 1925, and captured an intimate moment of Borden working at her desk.
When considering a defining characteristic of Irish Art, the deep response to the landscape and its people, which has long held a central place within Irish cultural identity, stands strong. In our September auction, this connection is represented in a number of evocative works spanning the early 19th century to today. Click ahead to see highlights from the sale. LAUNCH SLIDESHOW
At the turn of the 20th century, a number of pioneering artists from Ireland broke free from conservative artistic circles in Dublin and headed for the Continent. In the cauldron of creative activity in Paris and its environs, the artists absorbed the exciting new artistic developments into their own work. Suddenly in Irish Art, we begin to see a loosening of brushwork, bolder colours, changing perspectives and formal experimentations. Exhibiting these pictures back in Ireland was a shock to conservative tastes and they were not always readily received. However thanks to the steadfast commitment of these artists to modernist principles, the artistic landscape in Ireland slowly shifted and set the way for future generations. In the Irish Art sale this September, a number of impressive examples illustrate the work of Ireland’s most ground-breaking artists. LAUNCH SLIDESHOW