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PROPERTY FROM THE JOSEPH & BRENDA CALIHAN COLLECTION

Gerard Dillon
THE HAYMAKERS (INISHLACKEN)
JUMP TO LOT
34

PROPERTY FROM THE JOSEPH & BRENDA CALIHAN COLLECTION

Gerard Dillon
THE HAYMAKERS (INISHLACKEN)
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Irish Art

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London

Gerard Dillon
1916 - 1971
THE HAYMAKERS (INISHLACKEN)
signed l.l.: Gerard Dillon; titled on the reverse
oil on board
46 by 61cm., 18 by 24in.
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Provenance

Waddington Galleries, Montreal;
Sotheby's, London, 16 May 1996, lot 540, where purchased by the present owners

Exhibited

Dublin, Victor Waddington Galleries, Gerard Dillon, October-November 1953, no.10;
San Francisco, Maxwell Galleries, Gerard Dillon, July-August 1954, no.23

Catalogue Note

We are grateful to Karen Reihill for her assistance with the cataloguing of the present work. 

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).

Irish Art

|
London