Paul Henry, R.H.A. (1876-1958)
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 2… Read more Property from the Estate of Barbara Birmingham, sold to benefit Saint Anthony Hospital, Omaha, Nebraska, and Saint Mary's School, Omaha, Nebraska
Paul Henry, R.H.A. (1876-1958)

An Old Man from Connacht

Details
Paul Henry, R.H.A. (1876-1958)
An Old Man from Connacht
signed 'PAUL HENRY' (lower left)
oil on canvas
16 x 14 in. (40.6 x 35.5 cm.)
Painted in 1910-11.
Provenance
Robert Mitchell Henry (the artist's brother), and by descent to Kathleen Henry (the artist's sister-in-law), 1957.
Literature
R. Lynd, Rambles in Ireland, London, 1912, facing p. 102, illustrated, as 'The Old-Age Pensioner'.
H. Pyle, Jack B. Yeats A Biography, London, 1970, p. 115.
S.B. Kennedy, Paul Henry Paintings, Drawings, Illustrations, New Haven and London, 2007, p. 149, no. 281, illustrated.
Exhibited
London, Allied Artist's Association, Paintings of Co. Mayo, Ireland (Synge's Country) by Mr and Mrs Paul Henry, February 1912, no. 7.
possibly Belfast, Pollock's Gallery, Pictures by Mr and Mrs Paul Henry, February - March 1913, no. 18, as 'An Old Age Pensioner'.
Belfast, Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts, Works by Paul Henry from the collection of Mrs Kathleen Henry, November 1956, no. 4, as 'Old Age Pensioner'.
Dublin, Ritchie Hendriks Gallery, Paul Henry Retrospective Exhibition, May - July 1957, no. 32, as 'Old Age Pensioner': this exhibition travelled to Belfast, Museum and Art Gallery.
Sheffield, Graves Art Gallery, Contemporary Art in Ulster, Autumn 1957, no. 26, as 'Old Age Pensioner'.
Special notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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André Zlattinger
André Zlattinger

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Lot Essay

This is a good example of Paul Henry's early Achill period, that is, of the years 1910-15 when he was influenced by the French painters Jean-François Millet and Honoré Daumier. Bold in concept, moderately heavy impasto, strong characterization (although with little sense of movement in the figure) and a limited palette, the composition is well observed and concisely set down. The doorway of the cottage is similar to that in a number of other works by Henry, such as Old Connemara Woman (Boston College, Boston, Mass.). Reviewing the artist's exhibition in London in 1912 the Art News (7 February 1912) noticed this picture, describing the 'light coming in from a little window in the rear, while the Connemara man stands there by the side of a wall in the foreground'. To Belfast's Northern Whig in 1913 (17 February) it was 'an admirable study of a type [of individual] and a very daring piece of colour'. Prior to the publication of his Rambles in Ireland Robert Lynd, a friend of the artist from his schooldays in Belfast, wrote to Henry seeking permission to reproduce this picture in his book. Henry replied, on 5 September 1912, from Pullough, Achill Island, where he was living at the time, saying: 'Certainly use the photograph of The Old Man from Connacht [the present lot]. I am glad that you like it well enough to want to have it' (S.B. Kennedy, Paul Henry papers, MS60). The setting for the scene was the village of Keel on Achill Island.

B.K.

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