Lady Beatrice GlenavyLot 9
Lady Beatrice Glenavy RHA 1881-1970 THE DANCE Oil on canvas, 18'' x 26'' (46 x 69cm), signed, and dated 1933; inscribed with original price of £15 on reverse. Provenance: Acquired by the previous owners parents directly from the artist in the 1930s;... Read moreEstimate: €10,000 - €15,000 Result: €12,000
Lot 9 Lady Beatrice Glenavy
Estimate: €10,000 - €15,000
Lady Beatrice Glenavy RHA 1881-1970 THE DANCE Oil on canvas, 18'' x 26'' (46 x 69cm), signed, and dated 1933; inscribed with original price of £15 on reverse. Provenance: Acquired by the previous owners parents directly from the artist in the 1930s; Private Collection, Dublin. Exhibited: The RHA Annual Exhibition 1934, no. 155, for sale at 15 gns. The artist is best known as Lady Glenavy, painter of surreal, mythological scenes and still-lifes where reality and illusion are interchangeable, although she had achieved precocious renown in Dublin as Beatrice Elvery for her sculpture, painting, graphic illustrations and stained glass before she married the Hon. Gordon Campbell (son of the Lord Chancellor of Ireland) in 1912. In 1918, after eight years in London, she and her brilliant barrister husband returned to Dublin with two small children at a politically explosive period in Ireland, living at various addresses until they settled in Kimmage, Co. Dublin in 1922. Much of her work was destroyed by a fire at this time. Once her youngest child, born in 1924, was old enough she began painting again in oils and in tempera, on furniture and making small portraits in a pointillist idiom. By 1931, when her husband, by now Secretary to the Irish Free State Department of Industry and Commerce, succeeded to his father's title, she was painting regularly in oil on canvas. Having first exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1902, she continued to do so more or less annually until 1969. She was elected an Academician the year she painted this canvas, which depicts a poet reading in an Arcadian landscape while two shepherdesses dance to the pipe of a boy satyr. This followed her masterpiece, 'The Intruder' (1932), 'The Vain Suit' (1932-3), also featuring a diaphanously-dressed, straw-hatted shepherdess, Cupid and a playful whippet, and a smaller, similarly composed and figured study, 'Shepherdess and Poet' (1933-4). Her paintings were inspired as much by inanimate images of Staffordshire china ornaments, driftwood, children's toys, memorabilia, be-ribonned plaster plaques, potted flowers and cacti as by lithely sinuous Regency figures performing romantic tableaux in lyrical woodland settings, often beside the sea. Her unerring gift for modelling lively imaginary figures, painted in warm colour harmonies from the fantasy world of her imagination is as recognizable as her fancifully staged theatrical compositions, frozen in suspended motion. This painting was given by the artist to the mother of the present owner, perhaps via the Swedish consul and his wife, Harry and Signe Eriksson, close friends of the Glenavys in Dublin in the 1930s. Nicola Gordon Bowe October 2013
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