BASIL BLACKSHAW, H.R.H.A
signed l.r.: BLACKSHAW
oil on canvas with charcoal
80 by 93cm., 31½ by 36½in.
Painted in 1976.
Original canvas, undulates slightly. The work appears in good overall condition. Some slight discolouration and possible spots of surface dirt.
There appear to be no signs of retouching under ultraviolet light.
Held under glass in a wooden box frame; unexamined out of frame.
"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."
Keys Gallery, Derry (Nat Gordon), from where purchased by the present owner in 1977
Dublin, Royal Hibernian Academy, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Blackshaw - Painter, 1997, touring exhibition;
Derry, Gordon Gallery, Blackshaw at 80, 1 - 30 March 2013, no.22
Brian Ferran (into.), Blackshaw - Painter, Nicholson & Bass Ltd., 1995, pl.79, illustrated p.116
The present work is a bold rendering of the drama and danger of horseracing - an element that appealed to Blackshaw's taste for risk being, as Eamonn Mallie has described him, 'an edge of society man.' The work relates to Blackshaw's masterpiece, Grand National (Foinavon's Year) from 1977 (private collection) and another version of The Fall, (sold these rooms, 27 September 2017, lot 370). These pictures reveal the chaos and calamity that can strike, and the threat to life and limb of the jockey. This is paramount in the present work, with the focus on the jockey being hurled forward as the horse tumbles - the only outcome is a painful landing to the turf.
Sharing a lifelong passion for horses which began in his family's yard in Co. Down where his father was a trainer, Blackshaw's equestrian pictures are among his most celebrated works and cement his reputation firmly in the great tradition of equestrian painters stretching before him. Distinctive of Blackshaw's work is not only the clear affinity for the horse that is felt but also the radical manner in which he painted. He goes beyond a literal representation, content to summon the key parts rather than the whole through bold and expressive brushwork which seethe with energy and heightens the drama.