48
JUMP TO LOT
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Irish Art

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London

Patrick Hennessy
1915 - 1980
LANDSCAPE WITH MONK AND ST JOHN THE BAPTIST
signed l.l.: Hennessy; also signed, titled and dated 1955 on the stretcher bar
oil on canvas
91.5 by 127cm., 36 by 50in.
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Provenance

Gorry Gallery, Dublin, where purchased by the present owners circa 1980

Exhibited

Dublin, Royal Hibernian Academy, 1955, no.26;
Dublin, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Patrick Hennessy de Profundis, 24 March - 24 July 2016, illustrated in exh. cat., p.90

Catalogue Note

The present painting belongs to a series of religious-themed work Patrick Hennessy produced in the 1950s, which hold a distinct place within his oeuvre and more widely within a religious context in 20th century Ireland. In Hennessy's paintings, wooden religious figures, in this case John the Baptist, seemingly removed from their church interiors are situated within an Irish landscape; the result is both other-worldly and familiar, ancient and modern. The stillness within the painting and the myserious relationship between the monk and St John is captivating, even if it does not supply any easy answers. Are these relics from a past no longer relevant? Or as Sean Kissane observes, does their placement in an expansive landcsape suggest real communion with God is found here in the glory of nature? (de Profundis, exh. cat., p.87). The series was never open to a clear interpretation but as Kissane also comments, Hennessy addresses the complications of Irish religion in a highly personal way interweaving the pagan, classical and Catholic (ibid.), resulting in a complex and striking visual imagery. Technically, they also demonstrate Hennessy's high accomplished craftmanship.

Irish Art

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London