'Paintings', Alpine Club Gallery, London, 6-23 February 1929, no. 5;
Oireachtas, Dublin, 1941
The pilot became a figure of mythological dimensions. His job required great skill in navigation and sailing as well as a deep knowledge and understanding of the geography and conditions of the Garavogue and its environs. He appears in several of Yeats' drawings and paintings, often in or near the Pilot House, a look-out hut, which was located on the headland at Rosses Point, and from where he could watch for the arrival of ships into the river mouth. The remains of the hut survive today, close to the ruins of Elsinore. The exotic nature of the pilot was added to by the fact that he was often accompanied by a fiddle player in his boat and by his stories of seafaring escapades. He came to encapsulate the spirit of adventure that all mariners possessed in the imagination of Yeats.
Yeats included a depiction of 'The River Pilot' in a series of little watercolours that he made of the men working on the Sligo quays in 1900 (Niland Collection, The Model, Sligo). An illustration of 'The Pilot' featured in A Broadside (April 1910) which shows the sailor standing in his rowing boat and engaging in conversation with the bearded captain of a merchant ship. This formed the basis of his 1925 oil painting, The Captain Goes Aboard, 1925 (Private Collection). (The original watercolour for this is now in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland, NGI 3826). A drawing of 'The Pilot' is also included in Yeats' book, Life in the West of Ireland (1912), depicting the figure standing on the headland at Rosses Point beside the Pilot House.
In Pilot, Sligo River, the pilot stands, with hands in pockets, looking out towards the Atlantic. On the right, the sea, the Sligo coastline and a wide expanse of blustery sky evoke the breadth and magnitude of the natural world, to which the senses of the pilot are keenly attuned. Streaks of yellow in the sky and on the lapels and sleeves of the figure's dark jacket and cap suggest the fall of evening. Behind him to the left, sketched in thick white, blue and yellow paint, is the outline of buildings, part of the streetscape of the village of Rosses Point. The roadway beneath it is made of smooth layers of pink, blue and white. Its flat surface contrasts with the richly textured paint strokes used to form the houses and the pilot.
In contrast to the relative solidity of his dark uniform, the face and head of the pilot are constructed out of unwieldy, thick pink and red paint. His trousers are a rich cacophony of bright reds, blues, yellows and ochres. This daring use of colour could refer simply to the reflection of sunlight, but it is also suggestive of the tenuousness of Yeats' memory of the sailor and his deployment of paint to reinvent the physical reality of his presence.
Dr Róisín Kennedy
- Auction Details
Prices given below exclude buyers’ commission and VAT. Unsold lots are available at reserve prices
(a) Each lot is put up subject to any reserve price imposed by the vendor
(b) Subject to sub-clause (a) of this clause, the highest bidder for each lot shall be the purchaser thereof
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(a) The bidding and advances shall be regulated by and at the absolute discretion of the auctioneer and he shall have the right to refuse any bid or bids. NOTE: Where an agent bids, even on behalf of a disclosed client, the auctioneer nevertheless has the right at his discretion to refuse any such bid.
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(c) Where an agent purchases on behalf of an undisclosed client such agent shall be personally liable for payment of the purchase money to the auctioneer and for safe delivery of the lot to the said client.
(a) The auctioneer reserves the rights to bid on behalf of clients including vendors, but shall not be liable for errors or omissions in executing instructions to bid.
(b) The auctioneer reserves the rights, before or during a sale, to group together lots belonging to the same vendor, to split up and to withdraw any lot or lots at the auctioneer's absolute discretion and without giving any reason in any case.
(c) The auctioneer acts as agent only, and therefore shall not be liable for any default of the purchaser or vendor.
(a) Each lot shall be at the purchaser's risk from the fall of the hammer and shall be paid for in full before delivery and taken away at his expense within one day of the sale. The buyer will be responsible for all removal, storage and insurance charges in respect of any lot which has not been collected within one day of the date of sale. (b) If any purchaser fails to pay in full for any lot within 21 days of the date of sale such lot may at any time thereafter at the auctioneer's discretion be put up for sale by auction again or sold privately; if upon such re-sale a lower price is obtained than was obtained on the first sale the purchaser in default on the first sale shall make good the difference in price and the expenses of re-sale which shall become debt due from him. (c) Interest at 2 per cent per month and legal costs (if any) for recovery of monies due shall be payable by the purchaser on any overdue account.
(a) All lots are made available for inspection before each sale and each buyer, by making a bid, acknowledges that he has satisfied himself as to the physical condition, age and catalogue description of each lot (including but not restricted to whether the lot is damaged or has been repaired or restored).
(b) All lots are sold with all faults and imperfections and errors of description and the Auctioneer and its employees, servants or agents shall not be responsible for any error of description or for the condition or authenticity of any lot, save for Clause 5 (c) below. Written or verbal condition reports may be supplied by the Auctioneer on request but these are merely statements of opinion, and any error or omission in these reports may not be taken as grounds for a cancellation of sale or refund of any part of the purchase price or the cost of any repairs to the lot or lots reported on
(c) A purchaser shall be at liberty to reject any lot if he - (i) gives the auctioneer written notice of intention to question the genuineness of the lot within seven days from the date of sale; AND (ii) proves that the lot is a deliberate forgery and (iii) returns to the auctioneer within 20 days from the date of sale the lot in the same condition as it was at the time of sale; provided that the auctioneer may, at his discretion, on receiving a request in writing from the purchaser, extend for a reasonable period the time for return of the lot to enable it to be submitted to expertisation. NOTE: The onus of proving a lot to be a deliberate forgery is on the purchaser.
(d) Where a lot has been submitted to expertisation, all costs of such expertisation shall be paid by the person who retains the certificate of expertisation and item or items to which the certificate relates.
(e) Where the purchaser of a lot discharges the onus and acts in accordance with sub-clause (b) of this clause, the auctioneer shall rescind the sale and repay to the purchaser the purchase money paid by him in respect of the lot.
(f) No lot shall be rejected if, subsequent to the sale, it has been marked by an expert committee or treated by any other process unless the auctioneer's permission to subject the lot to such treatment has first been obtained in writing.
(g) Any lot listed as a "collection, range, portfolio etc." or stated to comprise or contain a collection or range of items which are not described shall be put up for sale not subject to rejection and shall be taken by the purchaser with all (if any) faults, lack of genuineness and errors of description and numbers of items in the lot, and the purchaser shall have no right to reject the lot; except that, notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this sub-clause, where before a sale a person intending to bid at the sale gives notice in writing to, and satisfies the auctioneer that any such lot contains any item or items undescribed in the sale catalogue and that person specifically describes that item or those items in that notice, then that item or those items shall, as between the auctioneer and that person, to be taken to form part of the description of the lot. Clause 6 The respective rights and obligations of the parties shall be governed and interpreted by Irish law, and the buyer hereby submits to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Irish Courts.
a) The buyer shall pay the Auctioneer a commission at the rate of 20% of the purchase price (which excludes VAT at the prevailing rate under The Margin Scheme and which is not reclaimable). There is no extra charge to on-line buyers on Whyte’s platform – bid.whytes.ie. However bidders on other platforms shall pay an extra commission of 3% to 5% (plus VAT) to cover the charge made by the on-line bidding provider.
(b) The Auctioneer or its employees, servants or agents may, on request organise packing and shipping of lots purchased or may order on the buyer's behalf third parties to pack or ship purchases. Under no circumstances does the Auctioneer accept any liability whatsoever for any loss or damage howsoever occasioned in the course of such service.
(c) The buyer authorises the Auctioneer to use any photographs or illustrations of any lot purchased for any or all purposes as the Auctioneer may require. The placing of a bid will be taken as full agreement to all the above conditions.
WHYTE AND SONS AUCTIONEERS LIMITED, 2018.
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