20 May 1999
Roderic O'Conor, R.H.A. (1860-1940)
Valley Landscape near Cassis
oil on canvas
15 x 18 in. (38 x 46 cm.)
Painted circa 1913
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J. Benington, Roderic O'Conor, Dublin, 1992, no.179.
London, Taylor Gallery, Irish Art in the 20th Century, 1989, no.24. London, Taylor Gallery, Ireland and the Modern Movement, 1990, no.27.
'O'Conor spent the summer of 1913 in the South Of France where he stayed in a hillside villa which overlooked the small port of Cassis. Several paintings which he made that summer were exhibited later in the same year at the Salon d'Autumne in Paris. Because of similarities in the colour range and technique, this painting is believed to have been one of this group although it was not exhibited and the present location has not been confirmed.
There are obvious comparisons to be made with Monet's paintings of a similar subject which he made early in the spring of 1889 in the vale of the Creuse river when he was in Fresselines in the Massif Central region of France. This O'Conor painting appears to be of a smaller and more intimate river valley, but the similarity of subject matter and technique strongly suggests that he was inspired by Monet's series.
The technique here and the treatment of some of the landscape details would suggest that O'Conor probably finished his painting in his studio, working from a sketch which he is most likely to have begun on site'.
(Roy Johnston, private correspondence, 1999).
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