A brush with elegance in Monkstown for €895k
Home of late artist Peter Collis is being sold
Published 15/04/2016 | 02:30
When the landscape and still life painter Peter Collis passed away in 2012 at the age of 83, a respected critic was moved by the artist's legacy of bold and vibrant expression to describe him as "Ireland's Cezanne".
Collis's richly-hued canvases have always proven popular at auction and at gallery sales here and in the UK, and today his works can be found on the walls of esteemed private collectors.
The restaurateur Patrick Guilbaud once paid a five-figure sum for one of Collis's 'Vico Road' series, and both Bono and Oscar winner David Puttnam are buyers. Similarly, he adorns public walls - at UCD, Limerick University the Office of Public Works, AIB and a number of other financial institutions.
Born in the UK, Collis came to Ireland in the 1960s as an oil company executive working for Shell. Already painting, he connected instantly with the Irish landscape. Eventually, he retired early to pursue painting full time.
According to his long time companion and fellow painter, John Coyle, Collis "saw things in the Irish countryside which the rest of us might never see".
Being something of an outsider, the Englishman was emboldened by bringing a fresh eye to it all. "He didn't have the historical or territorial baggage that many Irish would have," said Coyle, "and saw the landscape for what it was along with the physical, and poetic, possibilities it offered. He pursued the simplification and arrangement of shapes, just like Cezanne."
From a wealthy family background and with a lifelong penchant for Saville Row tailored suits, Collis was described by another artist as the "best dressed man on the entire Irish art scene".
And while our native artists have a general reputation for being wild and uncompromising characters, Collis impressed anyone who met him walking the south Dublin coast, the Sugar Loaf or the Wicklow hills as a "gentleman" who was always unfailingly courteous. In contrast, his brush strokes broke loose with a furious passion in the style of his hero, the great French master to whom he has so often been compared.
His children have also been imbued with an explorative mind. Having once gotten a job as an air hostess, his daughter Katie decided she'd much prefer to fly the plane.
A few years later she was piloting Airbuses for European airlines and flying bush planes in Africa.
Now returned to Ireland to pursue her passion for sailing and a new career in pharmaceuticals, Katie has been charged with the sad task of selling the family home where Peter painted, where she and her siblings grew up, and where his work still hangs, including a self-portait in the bedroom.
Knocknagow is a double-fronted, 1800s' built end of terrace, located in a cul-de-sac off Montpelier Place and located equi-distant from Monkstown and Blackrock villages.
The property measures approx. 2,034 sq ft and comes with a south-facing, split-level garden of 90 foot in length.
Accommodation at Knocknagow includes a living room/dining room which is dual aspect and comes with a marble fireplace with gas inset and brass surround. The original ceiling coving and central rose detail are intact.
The snug drawing room is decorated in rich red colours, also with an open fireplace.
There's a basement hall with under-stair storage, an own entrance storage room and the kitchen/family room which comes with fitted units.
Peter's old studio is the sun room extension, added for the purposes of painting, with two walls of floor to ceiling glass and a log-burning stove.
There's also a bedroom on the lower floor with an open fireplace, a utility room and a guest room, as well as the main bathroom.
On the first floor are the three main bedrooms including the master chamber which runs the entire length of the house and comes with its own dressing room.
Buyers interested in this house will chase it for the same reasons Peter Collis acquired it all those years ago - for its positioning near some of Dublin's most scenic coastal stretches and its handy access to the North Wicklow countryside.
Add to this the huge garden which Katie lists as her favourite, and this home presents a rich and colourful palette.
Montpelier Place, Monkstown, Co Dublin
Asking price: €895,000
Agent: Vinnie Finnegan (01) 2844312