€800,000 fair day for Yeats work
Published 19/09/2011 | 05:00
A JACK B Yeats masterpiece which reappeared after almost seven decades in the same family in Dublin is due to fetch up to €800,000 at auction.
The spectacular oil -- titled 'A Fair Day, Mayo' --was painted in 1925 and once hung in the office of Eamon de Valera, when he was leader of the newly formed Fianna Fail.
It is the largest and most valuable work by the country's best-known artist to appear on the market for many years.
The work will go under the hammer at Adam's auction of Irish Art on September 28, where it is expected to fetch between €500,000 and €800,000.
James O'Halloran, Adam's managing director, said that while the 24 x 36 in work has been not been on the market for 68 years, it had been seen in a number of prestigious exhibitions.
After it was painted, the picture was lent by the artist to de Valera, the leader of the new Fianna Fail party, who displayed it in his offices at Suffolk Place.
Adam's believes the painting, which depicts a bustling country fair, probably appealed to de Valera's vision of rural Ireland.
"Interestingly, the picture was sold through Leo Smith in Dublin in October 1944 for the then huge price of £250 to Mr JP Reihill Snr," said Mr O'Halloran.
"The painting has been in the Reihill family ever since," he added.
The sale also features another valuable work by Yeats, together with pieces by Louis le Brocquy, Colin Middleton, and Charles Lamb, as well as signed letters from Samuel Beckett.
Public viewing at the Dublin sales rooms on St Stephen's Green opens on September 25 for four days.