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PROPERTY FROM THE JOSEPH & BRENDA CALIHAN COLLECTION

Augustus Nicholas Burke, R.H.A.
ON THE APPLE TREE, BRITTANY
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25

PROPERTY FROM THE JOSEPH & BRENDA CALIHAN COLLECTION

Augustus Nicholas Burke, R.H.A.
ON THE APPLE TREE, BRITTANY
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拍品詳情

愛爾蘭藝術

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Augustus Nicholas Burke, R.H.A.
1838-1891
ON THE APPLE TREE, BRITTANY
signed l.l.: A. Burke. RHA.
oil on canvas
44 by 65cm., 17 by 25½in.
Painted circa 1875-77.
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來源

Sotheby's, London, 2 June 1995, lot 268, where purchased by the present owners

展覽

Dublin, Royal Hibernian Academy, 1877, no.475;
Brittany, Musée de Pont-Aven, Peintres Irlandais en Bretagne, 26 June - 27 September 1999, no.5, with tour to Cork, Crawford Municipal Art Gallery;
Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland,  2004-2010 (on loan from the Calihan Collection)

出版

Julian Campbell, Peintres Irelandais en Bretagne, 1999, p.35;
Anne Crookshank and the Knight of Glin, Ireland's Painters 1600-1940, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2002, no.342, illustrated p.253

相關資料

Best-known for his picture Connemara Girl (National Gallery of Ireland), Augustus Burke also painted landscapes in the Netherlands, Brittany, Wicklow, Walberswick and Italy, as well as some portraits. He was one of the first Irish Realists and an influential figure for a younger generation of Irish plein-air painters. He was descended from the McDavid Burkes of Glinsk, Co, Galway, and was born into a landowning family in Tuam in 1838.1 He studied in London, then returned to Dublin in 1869, becoming an Associate of the RHA, and then a full Member in 1871. He served as Professor of Painting there from 1879- 1882, among his pupils being Walter Osborne, Joseph M. Kavanagh and others. Burke exhibited regularly at the RHA, at the Royal Academy, at Liverpool, and at other venues. His life was marked by a tragic political event: the assassination of his brother Thomas Henry Burke, Under Secretary in Ireland, by the Invincibles in the Phoenix Park, Dublin in 1882. Burke left for England, worked in the artists’ colony at Walberswick, then spent his last years in Florence with his sister Dorothy.

One of the most fruitful periods in Burke’s creative life was spent in Brittany, c. 1875-1877. He was one of the first Irish artists, along with Thomas Hovendon and Aloysius O’Kelly, in the painters’ colony at Pont-Aven.2 Basing himself in the hamlet of Tremalo, Burke represented women praying and beggars outside the church there, a feast day and a farmyard, in careful Realist style, with strong emphasis on light and shade. His recently rediscovered Breton Reapers, featuring two Breton girls, evokes a sense of beauty and piety.3

The present painting has a gentle, relaxed mood, with a palette of glowing richness, evoking the heat of a sunny day. Burke features four young Breton women taking the ease in the shade of trees in a sunny orchard. The setting is probably near Pont-Aven on the hillside above the river Aven. The figures are placed left of centre, and are seen mainly in shadow. They are close to one another, but each holds a different posture, and there is a variety in their costumes. The woman on the left stands upright, and reaches up to pick an apple. She wears a plain, navy blue dress, brown apron, white stockings and clogs. Unusually for a Breton woman she is bare-headed, although she wears a small head band. To her right a small girl is seated on a branch in a relaxed, winsome pose. One hand leans against a branch, the other holding an apple. Her figure is in shadow, but sunshine delicately lights up the top of her bonnet and the side of her jerkin.

She looks out at the viewer, as does the woman reclining on the ground below her, engaging our interest. The latter’s face and hands are expressively painted, and she is clad in a more elaborate headdress and collar, with red, white and gold trimmings around her navy dress. The fourth girl reclines near her, her figure viewed from behind. She wears a bonnet with red top and belt, white collar and blue dress lit up by sunlight, and shoes rather than clogs. The presence of the young women, away from their work in the fields or as chamber maids, relaxing together, but lost in their own thoughts, creates a quietly enigmatic mood.

Burke composes the picture in a skilful way, the wiry tree and branches framing the figures, the landscape sloping down to the bend of the river. He makes use of the rich colours: navies and lighter blues in the dresses, whites, silvery blue and green leaves, touches of blue and pink in the landscape, siennas and browns, skilfully balancing colours together in different parts of the picture. For example, the blue of the reclining girl’s dress is echoed by the blue of the estuary, the white in her headdress by that in the distant sailing boat.

Julian Campbell

1 See Mary Stratton Ryan, ‘The Burke Family of Waterslane House', in Journal of Tuam Society, vol. vi, 2009, p.46-54: Brendan Rooney, ‘Burke, Augustus Nicholas’, in (Irish) Painting 1600-1900, ed. N. Figgis, RIA/Yale, 2014, p. 194-195.

2 J. Campbell, Peintres Irelandais en Bretagne, Musée de Pont-Aven, 1999.

3 Sold Sheppards, Durrow, 4 December 2014, lot 1976.

愛爾蘭藝術

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