Collection of John Vanston by 1914;
Galerie F.E. Buffa, Paris circa 1940s
Private collection, Bordeaux;
Bordeaux Chartrons-Bordeaux Enchères, 8 July, 2020, lot 462;
'Pictures of life in the West of Ireland', Mills Hall, Dublin, 23 February to 7 March 1914, no. 30;
Galerie F.E Buffa, Paris, under the title 'A la Godille'
Yeats stayed in Roundstone in Co. Galway in the summer of 1911 and painted several oil paintings based on the landscape and scenery that he encountered there. He was fascinated by the different styles of fishing boats and their journeys around the rocky landscape of the coast. He was beginning to work primarily in oil, moving away from his earlier use of watercolour. As can be seen in this painting he had perfected his early technique of using thick impasto oil paint to construct concise but powerful images of contemporary Irish life. The waves and clouds are tinted in pink tones with flecks of red and blues. The boat and its sailor are outlined in black.
The painting shows a young man standing at the stern of a wooden rowing boat. He holds a long oar in his hands and looks behind taking care of where he is steering the craft. As the title suggests the man is sculling which means that he is propelling the boat with a scull, a kind of oar that was worked from side to side over the back of the boat. The boat is heading out to sea, towards the viewer, and the details of its curved prow are clearly delineated in the daylight. The low viewpoint adds to the drama of the scene and to our sense of the skill of the sailor as he directs the boat through the choppy waters. A little wave, visible beneath the prow, is generated by the action of the vessel as it moves through the water.
The magnificent Connemara coastline with the undulating forms of the Twelve Bens dominates the horizon line. The communal activities of the fishermen of the West and their dependence on the sea is emphasised by the inclusion of details such as the buoy, afloat near the shoreline and on the right, a Galway hooker, the traditional sailing boat of the region, gliding along. To the left another sailing boat is visible closer to the seashore.
The work was included in an exhibition of forty-four paintings called 'Life in the West of Ireland' that Yeats held in the Mills Hall in Dublin in February to March 1914. Sculling is mentioned in a glowing review of the show published in the Irish Times in which the writer declares that Yeats '…paints his subject as he himself sees it, not as others view it…. His work has a distinctive Celtic atmosphere, in which peculiar mystic effects are produced'. (1) Several seafaring works were shown in the exhibition.
Dr Róisín Kennedy
1 Irish Times, 24 February 1914, p.9.
- Auction Details
AUCTION: Monday, 7 December 2020. Viewing: 2-7 December.
VIEWING: By appointment at our premises: 30 November to 7 December Monday-Friday 10am to 5pm Saturday & Sunday 2pm to 6pm
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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% up to and including €3 million, and 13.5% of that part of the hammer price over €3 million. The Buyer's Premium is added to the hammer price of all lots and is subject to VAT at the prevailing rate.
(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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WHEN ONLINE BIDDING STARTS – FROM 10AM ON 1 OCTOBER TO 18 OCTOBER (ENDING 6pm-10pm approximately) - YOU CAN LEAVE BIDS and your bid will start at one step above the previous bid or at the start price if no other bid. You will be notified by email if you get outbid before the auction starts.
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WHEN THE AUCTION BEGINS TO FINISH ON 18 OCTOBER the bidding for each lot remains open for 45 seconds at a start price determined by the reserve or bids already received. Each lot will be open and remain open for bidding until its end time is reached; the end time will be extended by 60 seconds if another bid is received. At the end time, if there are no further bids and the highest bid received equals or exceeds the re serve price the lot is sold to highest bidder.