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Details & Cataloguing

Irish Art

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London

Patrick Hennessy
1915 - 1980
EROS EN GRECE
signed l.r.: Hennessy; inscribed, numbered P.H.233, dated 1980 and titled on the reverse
oil on canvas
61 by 96.5cm., 24 by 38in.
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Provenance

The Robertson Craig Collection;
Christie's, London, 10 July 1986, lot 8, where purchased by the present owners

Catalogue Note

The present work belonged to Hennessy's partner Henry Robertson Craig and is recorded in Craig's journal as the first entry of his collection (made after Patrick died).

It was painted in Portugal after Hennessy and Craig were forced to leave their home in Tangier and made in the last year of his life (he died in December 1980 in London). 'Éros en Gréce' was a book that Hennessy owned which discussed sexuality and the erotic in ancient Greek art in a scholarly manner, but would have been thought ‘unsuitable reading’ by more conservative types. As such, its inclusion here represents a subtle undermining of the conventional content of a still life painting. It was probably intended for the Guildhall Gallery in Chicago but that exhibition did not happen due to his untimely death.

We are grateful for Sean Kissane for his assistance with the cataloguing of the present work.

 

Irish Art

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London