I R IS H A R T S A L E S
Stanley Pettigrew b.1927
A Lake Amongst the Benns, Connemara
Oil on canvas laid on board 20 x 30 inches. Signed by the artist
Stanley Pettigrew is best known as a painter of the Wicklow landscape but he is
at his best on his annual excursions to to Connemara. By the time he first
held a brush in his hand, he had become enthralled with the special quality of
light and spectacular subject of the West of Ireland. He went to school in Sligo and in the early days took a keen interest in carpentry. However, it was during the summer holidays, when he was about fourteen years of age, that he met the man who was about to change his interests completely. This was Jim Heuston, a confirmed Republican and extremely colourful character, who had been twice imprisoned during the 1916 rising and again in 1922. By 1941, Heuston
was working as a sign painter in Sligo but he also had an interest in
landscape painting. He encouraged Stanley to accompany him on his
expeditions and so began a painting career, which continues to this day.
During these journeys around the Yeats Country, his great love of the open
countryside developed. In common with many other artists who had gone before
him, he was fascinated by the massive cloud formations and their reflections
This lake scene in the heart of the Benns is a fine example of his
work and and is typical of the isolated locations Stanley seeks out on his
excursions. He captures the vastness of the mountain range while displaying
at the same time a local intimacy of peace and tranquillity depicted in a
splendid range of harmonious colour.
William John Hennessy 1839 – 1917
The Votive Offering
Ink, sepia and gum Arabic on paper; 6 ¾ x 4 ¾ inches.
Signed by the artist
Provenance:Private collection, London
Ref: The Graphic, London, July 31st 1875
This drawing appears to be a preparatory work for Hennessy’s important Royal
Academy oil, Bringing the Ex-Voto to the Church, sold by Sotheby’s,
New York, in 1982. However, although the detail common to both works is
faithfully reproduced, the view is enlarged and further detail is added to
the Academy oil. This includes a cleric sitting on a bench overlooking the
sea and a lady sitting on the grass to his left. The houses in the
background and the tall monument are omitted in the oil and the small shrine
pinned to the tree is shown further to the left. The angle of view is also
changed, which allows for a wider view of the distant headland.
The theme depicts a small family group as they make their way to a Church
situated on high ground overlooking the sea. The central figure has the
appearance of a mariner. He is depicted in a reflective mode as he carries
his offering of a model ship, complete with furled sails, to the Church. An
ex-voto offering may take many forms and is made following a vow or in
gratitude to a particular saint. The offering of a model ship might indicate
a rescue at sea or survival in a violent storm.
An illustration of the Royal Academy painting appeared in 'The Graphic' on
July 31st, 1875.
Further details -
William John Hennessy.
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