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.
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
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