Irish Art Market News
Fine Art Auction Sales/Prices in Ireland: Whytes, Adams, DeVeres Auctioneers.
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Three Studies of Lucian Freud (1969)
By Francis Bacon (Triptych)
Sold for $142.4 million (2013) at
Christie's, New York.
This is the
most expensive painting ever by
an Irish artist: For more details,
see: Most Expensive Irish Paintings.

Irish Fine Art Valuers & Auctioneers
When it comes to identifying trends
in Irish art, or assessing the current
and potential value of Irish artists,
there is no substitute for professional
advice from art experts. Fortunately,
Ireland has a number of eminent
auctioneers and valuers who deal
in painting, sculpture and prints,
including: James Adam and Sons
(Dublin), de Veres Art Auctions
(Dublin), Whyte & Sons (Dublin)
and Morgan O'Driscoll (Cork).
All these companies offer
expert advice to both private
and corporate art collectors.
See also: Irish Art Exhibitions.

Irish Art Market Reference Books
Also, the Ashville Media Group,
in association with Whytes, issues
an excellent annual survey of
auction sales (A Buyers Guide
to Irish Art) with comprehensive
results from UK and Irish sales
rooms, which is available in
bookshops. The Irish Arts Review
journal produces an annual list
of Irish artworks sold at auction,
which is available free with its
year-end issue. For anyone
interested in visual art in Ireland,
including Irish Sculpture,
these publications are essential
references.

The World Art Market
For comparative figures of auction
records achieved worldwide, see:
Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings;
Top 20 Most Expensive Paintings.

Irish Fine Art Market
Dublin - London - New York

Bookmark this page for news and comment on the market for Irish art during the course of 2016.

Irish Art Market 2013: News & Sales Results

Auction Overview: UK and Ireland

Even if his recent work "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" (1969) (sold in 2013 for $142 million) failed to topple Van Gogh's "Portrait of Dr Gachet" (1890) (sold in 1990 for today's equivalent of $146.5 million) - from the post of the world's most expensive painting in real terms, Francis Bacon is now surely established as one of the world's most iconic artists of the mid-20th century. He is certainly in a class of his own as far as other Irish artists are concerned, if 2013 prices are any guide.

The best of these also-rans included usual suspects William Orpen - whose "Portrait of Lady Idina Wallace" (1915) sold at Sotheby's London, for £962,500 (€1.1 million); John Lavery - whose "Tennis, Hotel Beau Site, Cannes" (1929) made £890,500 at Christie's London; William Scott - whose abstract still life "Blue and White" made £400,000 at Sotheby's; and Roderic O'Conor - whose characteristic work "Red Rocks and Sea" made £220,000. Despite this, sales of Irish works were disappointing - at Christie's November auction of British and Irish art, for instance, only half the paintings by Irish artists found buyers, while a number of sales failed to impress, including works by Louis Le Brocquy, Roderic O'Conor and Paul Henry. (Note: works by Paul Henry fared much better in Dublin where they dominated sales results at Adam's, Whyte's, and Bonham's.)

In Ireland, the top price paid for a painting by an Irish artist was achieved at de Veres in Dublin where "The Ferry" by Walter Osborne sold for €490,000. In second place, was Paul Henry's "The Potato Diggers", which made €400,000 at Adam's - a record auction price for the artist.

In general, the market for Irish art during 2013 was relatively unchanged compared to last year, with auction sales at Adam's, Whyte's and deVeres close to those of 2012. As usual, almost all the most valuable works were created by the same small group of 'blue-chip' painters. Worth noting, however, was the absence of any major work by Jack B Yeats, or Sean Scully, and only one by Roderic O'Conor. The top 10 most expensive Irish paintings sold in Ireland in 2013 feature five artists, the most recent of whom died more than 50 years ago. Even the top 20 contains no living artist.

ABSTRACT ART
For details of Irish abstract
painters and sculptors, see:
Abstract Artists Ireland.

Questions About Art in Ireland
For answers to popular queries
about visual arts in the 32 counties
see: Irish Art Questions.

Arts Infrastructure Ireland
For details of official bodies,
see: Irish Art Organizations.

ARTS NEWS
For the latest sales prices
from Christie's & Sotheby's,
see: Art News Headlines.

 

Top 10 Most Expensive Irish Paintings Auctioned in Ireland (2013)

- The Ferry (1890) by Walter Osborne (€490,000) (deVeres)
- The Potato Diggers (1910-11) by Paul Henry (€400,000) (Adam's)
- The Farm, Provence (c.1913) by Roderic O'Conor (€170,000) (Adam's)
- The Lobster Fisher at Dusk (1920-21) by Paul Henry (€160,000) (Adam's)
- Thatched Cottages (1933-35) by Paul Henry (€130,000) (Adam's)
- The Day's First Customer (1952) by Jack B Yeats (€115,000) (Adam's)
- A Grey Morning in a Breton Farmyard (1883) by Walter Osborne (€100,000) (Adam's)
- A Shebeen at Donnybrook (1851) by Erskine Nicol (€100,000) (Adam's)
- The Wind Blown Tree, Killary Harbour by Paul Henry (€94,000) (deVeres)
- The Lake (1928) by Paul Henry (€93,000) (Whytes)

Irish Art Market 2012: News & Sales Results

Once again, no living Irish artists featured in the annual list of Top 10 most expensive Irish paintings auctioned in Ireland: a list dominated yet again by Jack B Yeats (1871-1957) and Paul Henry (1876-1958). Indeed, apart from these two, only three other Irish painters sold for more than €100,000 in 2012 (four, if you count Orpen's Portrait of Rose, sold in London). Prices were up very slightly on 2011, while volume held steady with the combined turnover of the three top Dublin auction houses (Adam's, de Veres and Whyte's) amounting to €10 million, compared to €10.6 (2011) and €11.1 (2010). Even so, the austere economic climate continued both to depress pre-sale estimates and raise the quality of works offered for sale. Moreover, despite the success of his oil painting Procession with Lilies (1984), and a €450,000 bid for Indoors, Outdoors (1951) (which failed to meet its reserve of €500,000), the work of the recently deceased Louis le Brocquy (1916-2012) continues to underperform both in Dublin and London. The bad news in all this, is that the current market for Irish art appears to be based upon no more than four or five painters. This does not sit well with the tens of millions of euros devoted annually to the promotion of Irish artists. The only good news is that there appears to be no evidence of top quality Irish art being dumped on the market.

Top 10 Most Expensive Irish Paintings Auctioned in Ireland (2012)

- Procession with Lilies (1984) by Louis Le Brocquy (€320,000) (Adam's)
- The Night Has Gone (1947) by Jack B Yeats (€225,000) (de Vere's)
- Interior of a Cafe (1908) by William John Leech (€200,000) (Adam's)
- Good Evening Men (1950) by Jack B Yeats (€180,000) (Adam's)
- The Bog at Evening (1922) by Paul Henry (€160,000) (Adam's)
- The Travelling Show (1892) by Richard T Moynan (€140,000) (Adam's)
- Fishing Boats, Dugort (1910-19) by Paul Henry (€125,000) (Adam's)
- On the Courthouse Steps (1946) by Jack B Yeats (€100,000) (Whyte's)
- Evening in Achill (1930-38) by Paul Henry (€100,000) (Whyte's)
- Crossing the City (1929) by Jack B Yeats (€98,000) (Whyte's)

Note: Portrait of Rose, 4th Marchioness of Headfort by William Orpen, was sold by Sotheby's, London, in 2012 for £577,250.

Irish Art Market 2011: News & Sales Results

In general, the market for Irish art in 2011 continued to reflect the difficult global economic climate, and the concomitant demand for good quality investments. Against a background of falling stock markets, falling commodity prices, and uncertainties over the Euro, a growing number of investors now see blue chip works of art as an important element (alongside gold and other precious items) in their portfolio of personal investments. The category of so-called 'blue chip' artworks includes rare works by artists of high standing in their particular field. The latter includes such Irish artists as Francis Bacon (1909-92), William Orpen (1878-1931), Jack B Yeats, John Lavery (1856-1941), William Scott (1913-89), James Barry (1741-1806), Roderic O'Conor (1860-1940), Walter Osborne (1859-1903), Frank O'Meara (1853-88), Sean Keating (1889-1977), Paul Henry, and others. The year's best example of such blue chip art was A Fair Day, Mayo (1925), an oil painting by Jack B. Yeats (formerly owned by Eamon de Valera, among others) which was sold in September for €1 million at Adam's sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin: the highest price ever paid at auction for a painting in Ireland. However, outside of this premium category of Irish art, buyers continue to be extremely circumspect about what they will buy and how much they will pay. The market for contemporary Irish art has suffered the greatest decline, and a huge number of works in this category remain unsold. Furthermore, considerable uncertainty exists as to the commercial value of many contemporary Irish artists, which is making it very difficult to arrive at any accurate valuations.

 

The 2011 art market produced similar results to a moderate 2010 market with Adam's auction house turnover standing at €5.2 million (compared to €5.1 million in 2010) and Whyte's at €3.6 million (€3.8 million in 2010). In general there continued to be a demand for representational paintings and a decrease interest in abstract and semi-abstract works. Yet despite the reduced size of the market compared to the heyday of the mid 2000s, there was one big surprise in the year: J B Yeats painting A Fair Day in Mayo (1925), sold for an impressive €1 million at Adam's sale in September. This made it the highest price ever paid for any painting at auction in Ireland (and accounted for 20 percent of Adam's sales total). It is suspected that its provenance may have added another half a million Euros onto the price tag. The painting started its life hanging in the office of Eamon de Valera, and it is thought that the main character in the painting may in fact be de Valera himself.

Overall Jack B Yeats and Paul Henry continued to be the top sellers at auction, but prices were still significantly down from the heights of 2005. The biggest adjustment to the Irish market happened in 2008 when the value of total sales dropped 40 percent, followed by another 50 percent in 2009. There was a 50 percent rebound in 2010, and 2011 continued more or less at this level. Established names continue to be the buyer's favourites in recession, including Gerard Dillon, Sean Keating, William Conor, and Walter Osborne. It is notable that no living artists made the top 10 list for either auction house in 2011. It is ironic that demand for contemporary Irish art was so weak in a year when the Department of Arts spent €5 million organising the Dublin Contemporary Art exhibition. This trend continued at the annual RHA exhibition where the majority of the canvases remained unsold. Even established names like Louis le Brocquy failed to command premium prices. The highest price in 2011 for one of his paintings was £79,250 (Woman in the Sunlight), compared to his overall best in 2005 of £1,158,500 for Travelling Woman with a Newspaper.

The appetite for Irish sculpture remained subdued. The highest price paid in 2011 was €58,000 for Patriarch by F E McWilliam. Apart from this piece, nothing came close to the record set in 2009 at Adams of €160,000 for King and Queen by Edward Delaney. In the Irish art auctions in London the stars of the show were Roderic O Conor (Landscape, Cassis, £337,250); Yeats (The Child of the Sea, £229,000) and John Lavery (Portrait of Lady Gwendoline Churchill, £121,250).

Looking ahead, one concern for buyers in the 2012 market is expected to be the new Artists Resale Rights Levy (Droite de Suite) which will apply to works of artists who were still living after 1942. While the levy will only apply to artworks in excess of €3,000 it is expected to create somewhat of an administrative nightmare. The auctioneers are not obliged to collect the fee from the sellers but simply to inform the artist's estate when it is due. It will then be up to the estate to prove they are the rightful recipients and to pursue payment.

Adams Auction House Results: Top 10 Sellers in 2011

1. Jack B Yeats, A Fair Day in Mayo (1925). Sold: €1,000,000
2. Jack B Yeats, Jazz Babies. Sold: €480,000
3. Jack B Yeats, The Westering Sun. Sold: €135,000
4. Jack B Yeats, The Unforgetting Background. Sold: €130,000
5. Paul Henry, Connemara Landscape. Sold: €110,000
6. Paul Henry, Wind Blown Trees. Sold: €97,000
7. Paul Henry, The Roadside Cottage. Sold: €90,000
8. Gerard Dillon, Italian with Fowl. Sold: €85,000
9. Jack B Yeats, The Dawn. Sold: €80,000
10. William Conor, The Jaunting Car. Sold: €70,000

Whytes's Auction House Results: Top 10 Sellers in 2011

1. Jack B Yeats, Rescue Men (1949). Sold: €110,000
2. Paul Henry, West of Ireland Landscape. Sold: €106,000
3. Paul Henry, Altan Lough. Sold: €75,000
4. Paul Henry, Connemara Landscape. Sold: €60,000.
5. Jack B Yeats, The Street in Shadow. Sold: €72,000
6. Sean Keating, Illustration for Playboy of the Western World. Sold: €41,000
7. Daniel O Neill, Ruth. Sold: €37,000
8. Gerard Dillon, Young Couple in a Landscape. Sold: €30,000
9. Daniel O Neill, Two Sisters. Sold: €30,000
10. Gerard Dillon, Girl on a Beach. Sold: €29,000

How Contemporary Artists Fared In 2011

Comparing top price paid for the artist in 2011 with the highest price paid for one of their artworks since 1993.

Robert Ballagh
Well known pop-art painter, Robert Ballagh uses graphic design skills to produce highly representational figures placed in slightly surrealist settings. He is a member of Aosdana and a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science.
2011: €18,000 Portraits of the Leaders of the 1916 Uprising (7 sketches)
Highest Price Since 1993: €96,000, My Studio

Basil Blackshaw
Celebrated figure painter who is particularly noted for his nude figures. Basil Blackshaw is also a portraitist and a member of Aosdana.
2011: £23,750 Red
Highest Price Since 1993: £160,000, To The Gallop

Barrie Cooke
Abstract expressionist painter, Barrie Cooke has produced some stunning nudes as well as several sculptures. A member of Aosdana, he has exhibited throughout the world.
2011: €3,200 Nude, Sonja
Highest Price Since 1993: €28,000 Portrait of Seamus Heaney

Pauline Bewick
Immensely prolific as an artist, Pauline Bewick primarily produces watercolour paintings, although she has produced a number of sculptures, oil paintings and tapestry art. She is a member of Aosdana.
2011: €10,000 Rook, Oak and Horse
Highest Price Since 1993: €48,000 Salmon on a Plate

William Crozier
William Crozier was a still-life and landscape artist who produced colourful semi-abstract paintings. Influenced by German expressionism, Crozier's works became very popular in the noughties, selling for princely sums at most auction houses. The artist died in 2011.
2011: £31,250 The Standing Stone
Highest Price Since 1993: £192,000 The Road West

Colin Davidson
Belfast's Colin Davidson is best known for his urban landscapes which focus on imagery seen through shop windows. He has also produced many oil portraits and cityscapes of locations in Belfast.
2011: €4,000 The Grand Canal, Venice
Highest Price Since 1993: £31,700 Cafe Window

Ken Hamilton
A classical representational painter, Ken Hamilton uses academic art techniques to produce stunning portraits, primarily of women. He also paints still-life, demonstrating excellent mastery of chiaroscuro (light and shadow).
2011: £6,400 Girl with a Lute
Highest Price Since 1993: €11,000 My Champion

John Kingerlee
Highly abstract, John Kingerlee produces thickly painted canvases. His main theme are Irish landscapes, heads of people, as well as images of animals and collage. His paintings can take months to produce, involving the application of up to 100 layers of paint.
2011: €9,000 Kilcatherine Landscape sold by Morgan O Driscoll Auctioneers
Highest Price Since 1993: £60,000 Grid

Graham Knuttel
Highly popular during the noughties, Graham Knuttel is immensely prolific, producing images of cartoon-like human figures, using oils and acrylics. He has subsequently moved into designing delft (coffee cups, spoons etc) and has an active online following.
2011: £4,500 Group of Five
Highest Price Since 1993: €250,000 Taoisigh na hEireann (12 paintings)

Arthur Maderson
Irish impressionist, Arthur Maderson is primarily concerned with the portrayal of light. He paints highly colourful market scenes, landscapes and cityscapes. He was referred to one of the 'modern master painters of the world' by the magazine International Artist.
2011: €4,400 Evening, San Marco, Venice
Highest Price Since 1993: €21,000 Sunday Afternoon, Lismore River Pool

Sean Scully
Irish-American Artist, Sean Scully is highly established and represented in many modern art collections (including the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City). An abstract painter he was twice nominated for the Turner Prize.
2011: £14,375 Etchings for Federico Garcia Lorca (set of 10 etchings)
Highest Price Since 1993: £565,250 Wall of light Orange Green

John Shinnors
John Shinnors is an abstract artist who paints 'landscapes' and 'genre scenes'. He works both in large and small scale and is represented in many Irish art collections including the Arts Council of Ireland and National Self Portrait Collection.
2011: €17,000 The Red Boat, Ballyvaughan Pier, Co. Clare
Highest Price Since 1993: €70,000 Estuary Forms, Limerick

Donald Teskey
Donald Teskey is known for his rugged impressionistic Irish landscapes. He is a member of Aosdana.
2011: €8,000 Train Station at Dun Laoghaire
Highest Price Since 1993: €56,000 Fruit Market, Early Evening

Kenneth Webb
Founder of the Irish School of Landscape Painting, Kenneth Webb has had many solo exhibitions in Europe and North America.
2011: €13,000 Uisce Gorm
Highest Price Since 1993: €132,000 Galway, City of Tribes Series

John Vallely
Born in Co. Armagh, Vallely is best known for his thick impasto oil paintings of Irish musicians.
2011: £13,800 Blast of Music
Highest Price Since 1993: £33,460 Musicians And Dancers

Note: see also: Irish Art Investment Plan.

2011 NAMA Controversy

In what looks like a typical piece of government stupidity, part of the stock of Irish painting, sculpture and other valuables acquired by the National Asset Management Agency in Ireland - in lieu of unpaid debts incurred by building developers and others - was auctioned recently in London and New York by Christie's. This despite the fact that Irish art traditionally sells better in Dublin. Indeed art sales in Ireland have been quite robust in the run-up to Christmas, compared to London, where Christie's recent sale of 'UK and Irish Art' was relatively disappointing. Furthermore, while two Irish firms of auctioneers were invited to quote for disposing of the works, the contract was given to Christie's, who now stand to make an estimated €500,000 profit from the €2 million generated. James O'Halloran of Adam's auctioneers in Dublin reportedly told Finance Minister Mr Noonan that his firm would waive auction fees in return for keeping the business in Ireland - but to no avail.

Unfortunately, this situation could be repeated many times, as NAMA is believed to be in possession of a large amount of Irish art - one collection alone contains half-a-dozen paintings by Jack B Yeats - which could flood the market and severely depress prices, unless properly handled. Hopefully at least, NAMA will issue the auction contract to a Dublin firm to prevent further unnecessary losses to the Irish taxpayer.

Irish Art Market 2010: News & Sales Results

There's talk of a revival in the Irish art market. But a painting is not a standard object. So when a comparison is made between the Irish art prices in (say) 2010 and 2009, great care is required to ensure that one is comparing like with like: it's not like comparing oil prices. Thus, while it may be true in 2010 that both Adam's and Whyte's recorded increases of between 30 and 50 percent in sales volumes over 2009, a number of other factors need to be taken into account before an overall conclusion can be reached.

First, while demand for good quality works by a handful of blue-chip Irish painters may have steadied, the market for contemporary art has yet to hit rock bottom. This much was clear from extremely disappointing results at the 180th Royal Hibernian Academy Exhibition in May. Unfortunately, no one knows exactly where the dividing line between these two categories lies. And let's face it, there's more to Irish painting than Jack B Yeats, John Lavery, Sean Scully, Paul Henry, Roderic O'Conor, Gerard Dillon and Basil Blackshaw. Except that if we exclude these seven artists, no Irish painting sold for more than €66,000 in 2010.

Secondly, after a relatively successful Irish art sale in 2009, Christie's decided the market in 2010 did not justify a separate Irish sale, and instead bundled it with their auction of British art. Do they know something we don't? Thirdly, the Dublin-based auctioneers de Veres stated that their 2010 sales were slightly down on 2009. Fourthly, unless they have spent the last 2 years on Mars, every seller knows that unless a work is (1) high quality (2) new-to-market (3) well-provenanced and (4) accurately estimated, it won't sell. Take for instance Until We Meet Again by Jack B Yeats: it was offered for sale at Christie's for €1 million in 2010, but failed to attract a single bid. Lastly, it's difficult to know who to believe, these days. Back in the boom years, most people who were making a living from Irish art were delighted to see rocketing prices. Dealers, in particular, were telling us that €60,000 for a painting by XYZ was good value - the same dealers who are now shaking their heads and saying XYZ isn't selling at all: "he became terribly over-priced, you know." What better illustration of that phrase "Caveat emptor" - buyer beware!

Looking ahead in 2011, our more conservative view is that, while the speculators have withdrawn - leaving the salesroom to more knowledgable buyers, with perhaps more measured (and less trendy) tastes - the market remains uncertain: not least because the market for other securities, like shares and bonds, remains so unpredictable.

In short, a general trend has yet to emerge, and prices may fall further before a firm upward trend emerges. Meantime, the only consistent demand is for realistically-priced, well-provenanced, rare-ish paintings by top Irish artists, such as Jack B Yeats, William Orpen, John Lavery, William Osborne, Sean Scully, Paul Henry, Roderic O'Conor, Gerard Dillon, Basil Blackshaw and the like.

June 16: Last of the Major Dublin Auctions Satisfactory

Sales results from De Vere's Irish Art sale - the last major auction of the season, with 230 lots - were satisfactory but no more. Nearly all the top works found buyers at prices within pre-sale estimates, and total sales amounted to €410,000. The top price was €46,000 for The Dingle Peninsula from Rossbeigh Beach by Paul Henry, with three works by Tony O'Malley - Spring, Summer and Winter - going for an aggregate of €123,000 - well ahead of estimates. However, about 33 percent of lots went unsold, and even though they comprised mainly low-estimate works, many had no reserves.

June 2010: Auction Results Provide Sparkle in Dublin

Sales results at Dublin's top auctioneers Adam's and Whyte's provided a welcome pointer for a market still unsure of itself. Adam's sold 75 percent of its 160 lots, for a total of €1.5 million; Whyte's sold 86 percent of 220 lots for €1.08 million. Prices were comfortably within pre-sale estimates - which were set, it is fair to say, at a very realistic level - but more importantly, they attracted competitive bidding across the board. The top-priced lot at Adam's was Mending Nets, Aran (1942) by Gerard Dillon, which went for €80,000; individual artists whose works sold well included: Walter Osborne, Sir John Lavery, Jack B Yeats, Colin Middleton and William Conor. At Whyte's, the top lot was Kerry Landscape (1941) by Paul Henry, which was also hammered down for €80,000, while successful painters included: Gerard Dillon, Tony O'Malley, John Shinnors, Hughie O'Donoghue and William Crozier. Forecasts are dangerous to make just now, but it does seem as if the Irish art market has finally bottomed out.

End of May 2010: Poor Sales Results For Irish Art

Less than 30 percent of Irish paintings were sold at Christie's auction of British and Irish art in London, this week. By comparison, over 70 percent of British lots found buyers. Among the big-name failures were Until We Meet Again (1949) by Jack B Yeats, whose £1 million pre-sale estimate failed to attract a single bid. Other blue-chip works that failed to reach their reserves, and were therefore withdrawn, included: a large abstract composition by William Scott, a drawing in pencil and crayon by William Orpen, a figurative study by Louis le Brocquy, a river scene by Sir John Lavery, a study of a mother and child by William Conor, and a landscape by Colin Middleton. Only three works of art by Irish artists actually sold, albeit only just within estimates: Chrysanthemums (1928), a still life by Paul Henry, for €60,000; The Music Has Come (1950) by Jack B Yeats, for €63,000; and Together (1965) by William Scott, for €26,000. All this leaves Adam's upcoming sale on Wednesday June 2 with the final word on the current state of the Irish art market.

 

 

May 2010: Sotheby's Sale of Irish Art: 41 Percent of Lots Sold

At Sotheby's annual Irish art sale in London, the largest auction of Irish art so far this year, sale-prices were slightly down on 2009, with 41 percent of lots selling at the lower end of pre-sale estimates. Total receipts were €2.3 million. The highest price of €564,000 (inc fees) was paid for The Gold Turban (1929) by the Impressionist Sir John Lavery (1856-1941). A portrait of his wife Hazel, the work had not been seen before at auction. Other top prices included €424,000 for Spanish Shawl, a Study in White (1942) by the great Louis le Brocquy (1916-2012); €212,000 for Paysage Ensoleille by the expatriate Irish colourist Roderic O'Conor (1860-1940); €142,000 for the Dublin streetscape A Garden in a City at Night (1949) by Jack B Yeats (1871-1957); €118,540 for the equestrian work Morning Exerise by Basil Blackshaw (b.1932); €62,130 for the watercolour At the Railway Station by Harry Kernoff (1900-74). The unsold lots included the equestrian The Morning Ride (1909) by Lavery (estimate: €115-172,000); the abstract Eriskay by the Irish-American Sean Scully (b.1945) (estimate: €229-344,000); the 4-panel work Life in the West of Ireland by Gerard Dillon (1916-71) (estimate: €57-92,000); Self-Portrait in a Bearskin by Sean Keating (1889-1977) (estimate: €80-115,000) among others.

February 2010: Is This an Upturn?

Results from both Christie's (Feb 2) and Sotheby's (Feb 3) London sales of Impressionist and Modern Art exceeded most expectations, with a world record price (104,327,006) being set for a work of art at auction. (Walking Man by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti sold for $104,327,006). Whether this upturn will be replicated in upcoming sales of Irish painting and sculpture is anybody's guess, although we feel that Irish prices are likely to be even more conditional on the quality of artworks being offered for sale.

• For more about scenic artworks, see: Irish landscape artists.
• For more about genre-painting, see Irish genre painters.
• For details of portraiture in Ireland, see Irish portrait artists.
• For facts about painting and sculpture in Ireland, see: Homepage.


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