The Collection of Sir Michael Smurfit

Auctions in London 2020 and 2021
Sotheby’s are honoured to be offering over 50 works, in a series of sales in 2020 and 2021, from the renowned collection of Sir Michael Smurfit, which previously furnished The K Club and his Private Residence in Co Kildare, Ireland.

A t the heart of the Collection, formed over thirty years, is an exceptional group of Irish paintings. It features not only many of Ireland’s most famous painters, but some of their best works, including John Lavery, William Orpen, Louis le Brocquy and Jack B. Yeats. Several of the Yeats’ are well known through ‘The Yeats Room’ at the K Club, the renowned golf and spa hotel outside Dublin which Sir Michael established.

Another major highlight is Louis le Brocquy’s iconic Travelling Woman with Newspaper, purchased for a record price at Sotheby’s in 2000. Painted in 1947, it is the masterpiece of le Brocquy’s celebrated Traveller series (1945-50) and stands as a significant statement in the development of modernism not just in Ireland but internationally. It one of four works in his career which le Brocquy stated would define his lasting legacy.

Further examples in the collection are also marked by their quality, such as William Conor’s depiction of The Dublin Horse Show at the Royal Dublin Society and Frederick William Burton’s A Blind Girl at a Holy Wellfrom 1839, which was one of the most popular engraved images of its time. Accounting for the depth of the collection, a further group of Irish works will be offered in Sotheby’s Irish Art sale in 2021.

Carl Larsson, Hälsa Vackert På Fabor, Estimate £150,000–200,000, to be sold in 19th Century European Paintings, 9 December 2020; Sir Alfred Munnings, The New Standard, Presentation of Standards 1927, Estimate £250,000–£350,000, to be sold in Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite & British Impressionist Art, 8 December 2020.

Beyond Irish artists, the collection also includes a superb group of Scandinavian pictures featuring Carl Larsson and Anders Zorn. Other highlights include Alexej von Jawlensky’s Abend in Reichestshausen and Sir Alfred Munning’s The New Standard, Presentation of Standards 1927. Decorative objects are also represented, including a 9-carat gold replica of the Ardagh Chalice.

Auction Calendar

Highlights will be on view at our travelling exhibition at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin from 27-30 August 2020, by appointment only. We are also able to arrange private viewings of works from the Collection at Sotheby’s London. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further enquiries.


Enquiries

Dublin
Arabella Bishop, Senior Director
+353 (0)1 644 0200
Arabella.Bishop@sothebys.com

London
Charlie Minter, Director
+44 (0)20 7293 5925
Charlie.Minter@sothebys.com


MAIN IMAGE: JOHN LAVERY, LES ORANGERS DU BEAU SITE DE CANNES (TENNIS UNDER THE ORANGE TREES, CANNES), ESTIMATE £300,000–500,000, TO BE SOLD IN IRISH ART, 9 SEPTEMBER 2020.

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