Home Art collection Irish artwork from Michael Smurfit’s collection up for auction at Sotheby’s

Irish artwork from Michael Smurfit’s collection up for auction at Sotheby’s


It’s been a week in the world of art auctions. In just six days, from November 9 to 15, Christie’s New York made over $ 1 billion in its Marquee Week sale, in which 31 new artist records were set, with the monumental canvas by Jean-Michel Basquiat The guilt of gold Teeth reaching 40 million dollars (35 million euros). But perhaps more interestingly, Michael Winkelmann, under his pseudonym Beeple, made nearly $ 30 million (€ 27 million) for his Human One, “a kinetic video sculpture with a corresponding dynamic NFT.” [non-fungible token]”. He’s had a year – considering he’s just turned 40 – as two of his works totaled $ 99 million (€ 88 million) in the span of eight months.

Later, on November 15, Sotheby’s achieved a white glove result for the Macklowe collection, where not only did each lot sell, but four works fetched over $ 50 million (€ 44 million) each, in a sale exceeding $ 676 million (€ 598 million) in total. Not bad for a sole proprietorship – although it is owned by now divorced couple Harry and Linda Macklowe, who couldn’t agree on the value of their art treasure, so a judge ordered it to be sold at auction. Bidders from 25 countries and most of the top lots, including Alberto Giacometti’s Le Nez, which sold for over $ 78 million (€ 69 million), were bought by registered buyers in Asia.

The Face of Victory Jack B Yeats (€ 82,921 – € 118,459) Sotheby’s Irish Art Sale

Michel smurfit

Currently open and ending November 23 is Sotheby’s annual Irish art sale. A number of pieces come from the collection of Michael Smurfit, many of which adorned the walls of the K Club. In an interview with the auction house, Smurfit admits that he considered it important to collect quality art “and the best pieces possible”. Now settled in his 5,100-square-meter (55,000-square-foot) home in Marbella, the retired businessman says the Spanish climate and atmosphere is simply not suitable for the works of Irish artists, painted in a cold climate.

The selection is impressive, and in addition to Sotheby’s modern British and Irish art sale on November 23, there are 10 offers from Jack B Yeats, smaller watercolors priced at € 948 to € 1,422 and three oils. medium: Engravings (€ 59,230 – € 82,921); Boat Builder and the superb Face of Victory (both € 82,921 – € 118,459), at A Welcome (€ 177,678 – € 296,129); In Nor ‘Western Town (€ 414,581 – € 651,484) and South Pacific (€ 236,866 – € 355,299).

A Nor 'Western Town Jack B Yeats (€ 414,581 - € 651,484) Sotheby's Modern British and Irish Art Sale

A Nor ‘Western Town Jack B Yeats (€ 414,581 – € 651,484) Sotheby’s Modern British and Irish Art Sale

For fans of William Orpen, the sale includes three works including a charming portrait of the artist’s wife, Grace by Candlelight (€ 59,230-82,921). Sir John Lavery makes four appearances with scenes of penance at Lough Derg on the Spanish coast and two pretty portraits: Mrs. Adam at Dinner and Portrait of Mrs. Charles Barker (both € 82,921 to € 118,459). From the collection of Joseph Stephen Cullinan, pioneer of the petroleum industry and civic champion in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, is an unusual Paul Henry – The Great Blasket Island, Kerry (€ 59,230 – € 94,767). He was executed in 1934, when Henry visited Co Kerry with Mabel Young. Cullinan purchased a number of Irish works, including another superb copy of Henry (lot 12, Landscape of the West of Ireland € 142,142 – € 213,213) which is listed in the British Art Sale and modern Irish.

Gottfried Helnwein Red Sleep 24 (€ 47,394 - € 71,091) Sotheby's Irish Art sale

Gottfried Helnwein Red Sleep 24 (€ 47,394 – € 71,091) Sotheby’s Irish Art sale

Contemporary offers

Contemporary offerings at the Irish Art Sale are Ink Sky Bindu Bowl by Grainne Watts, a spellbinding ceramic from 2020 (€ 3,554 – € 5,923) and an incredible piece of photorealism by Gottfried Helnwein, the Austro-Irish based visual artist. at Castle Gurteen de la Poer in County Waterford. Red Sleep 24 (€ 47,394 – € 71,091) is sifted under a crimson wash and you could easily walk thinking it was just a block of red color, but closer examination reveals the face of ‘a child. It’s so realistic, there were a lot of “oohs” and “aahs” from viewers during its exhibit last week at the Royal Hibernian Academy, when people found out it was actually of a painting. Louis le Brocquy, John Behan, Daniel O’Neill, Roderic O’Conor and a gigantic Double Portrait installation by Patrick Swift are also on sale. In total, the Irish sale is expected to reach between 3 and 4.6 million euros.

Meanwhile, the current art sale from Dolan auction house in Galway opens online, with over 250 lots, and ends on November 29.

Le Roscommon Fusilier William Orpen (€ 10,000 - € 12,000) Dolan's

Le Roscommon Fusilier William Orpen (€ 10,000 – € 12,000) Dolan’s

Of interest is a pen and ink drawing by Sir William Orpen. The Roscommon Fusilier depicts a young woman, hand on hip, dressed in a military uniform sketched on paper from the Metropolitan School of Art in Kildare Street, where Orpen taught at the turn of the 20th century. The sitter was Vera Hone, and it is, according to the auction house’s Niall Dolan, one of the artist’s most recognizable works (€ 10,000 to € 12,500). Indeed, Hone was not only her favorite model, she posed for so many paintings that Orpen numbered them rather than giving them titles.

Na Fir Ón Oiléan Sean Keating (€ 16,000 - € 20,000) Dolan's

Na Fir Ón Oiléan Sean Keating (€ 16,000 – € 20,000) Dolan’s

One fabulous piece is Na Fir Ón Oiléan, which is an exceptional charcoal study by Sean Keating, in which two men from the island are engaged in a heated discussion. It is a large drawing and the first lot of Dolan’s sale, quoted with an estimate of € 16,000 to € 20,000.