Dublin, Royal Hibernian Academy, 1882, no.136; New Haven, Yale Center for British Art, America’s Eye: Irish Paintings from the Collection of Brian P. Burns, 25 September 1997 - 4 January 1998
William Osborne was a distinguished animal painter who exhibited regularly at the Royal Hibernian Academy. Titled A Moment of Liberty, the present works depicts the freedom suddenly bestowed to a horse who has lost its rider in battle. Accomplishly rendered, it also possesses a light humour characteristic of the artist's work. He was father to Walter Osborne - one of Ireland's most celebrated painters of the late 19th century - and can be see in the background of his son's painting, At the Breakfast Table also in the Burns Collection, see lot 55.
The canvas has been strip-lined onto a new wooden stretcher. The reverse of the canvas has
an application of adhesive. This has successfully secured the faint craquelure pattern visible on the surface. The work appears in good and stable condition.
UV light reveals small areas of retouching across the sky. Also some retouching to the soldier in the right edge, also below the belly and the tail of the main horse and a small area of retouching in the lower right corner.
Held in a gilt composite frame, ready to hang. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."