Seated against a fresh haycock, a farmer takes a rest from his labours in the hay field, his wooden rake placed against a stone wall. His strong hands rest on his thighs and he quietly smokes his pipe while a faithful collie dog lies in the sun at his feet. In the background, a woman leans over a haycock and looks out at us, while another man is still hard at work with a scythe. Bathed in vibrant yellow and greens, one can sense the heat of the day, and the quiet ease of the pace of life.
Such a party of haymakers is a typical West of Ireland scene that would have sparked Gerard Dillon’s imagination. He was enraptured by the local inhabitants, their traditional way of life and the beauty of the landscape. He wrote of the challenges of painting the ‘small and irregular’ fields, ‘marked off by lace-like stone walls’ and their ever changing colours: ‘a yellow field with a violet stone fringe…an emerald one with a grey-green wall and it can go on and on endlessly’ (Gerard Dillon, writing for Ireland of the Welcomes, May/June 1955). In the present painting, Dillon incorporates the stone walls, haycocks and cottages with a characteristically playful use of perspective and form, which adds a sense of movement to it. Combined with the vivid use of colour, there is a joyful innocence to the work typical of his response to the life and landscape he encountered there. As he himself remarked: ‘One could live here forever but being neither a fisherman nor a farmer but only a painter, I’m forced to come back to city life to sell work – and hope to save enough to come back to Connemara.’ (Gerard Dillon, writing for Ireland of the Welcomes, May/June 1955).
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale