Monday 20 November 2017

Landmark Ballagh work 'Burning Monk' up for auction

Burning Monk, 1968 by Robert Ballagh
Burning Monk, 1968 by Robert Ballagh
Ken Sweeney

Ken Sweeney

A LANDMARK work by artist Robert Ballagh is to go under the hammer in an auction featuring some of the greatest 20th century Irish artists.

'Burning Monk' depicts Thich Quang Duc, the 66-year-old-Vietnamese Buddhist monk who burned himself to death in June 1963 in protest against the persecution of Buddhists by South Vietnam's Diem administration.

However, the oil painting has a further significance in that it was part of Robert Ballagh's first exhibition in the Little Theatre, Brown Thomas in Dublin, in 1969.

"The same person who bought the painting in 1969 is selling it now," Mr Ballagh said.

"They didn't have to, but they rang me up to let me know it was in the auction and to explain they were selling it because they didn't have any space at home to hang the picture," Mr Ballagh told the Irish Independent.

The work is of such significance it spent 10 years on loan to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, where it formed part of the National Collection.

Measuring 7ft by 2ft the early oil is expected to reach between €10,000 to €15,000 at the Irish & British Arts auction, which takes place at the RDS on March 14.

Irish Independent

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