‘A Storm Keal Kill’ by William Orpen 1901 – Sold for £10,000 (€ 11,320) inc. premium.
Auction 10 Jul 2018, 13:00 Lot 32 Bonhams London (Est. £ 6,000 – 8,000
€6,900 – 9,200).
Lot 32 Bonhams, London. Modern British and Irish Art
Sir William Orpen, R.A., H.R.H.A. (Irish, 1878-1931)
‘A Storm, Keal Kill’
signed ‘ORPEN’ (lower right)
oil on canvas
42.5 x 53.5cm (16 3/4 x 21 1/16in).
Painted in 1901
Private Collection, U.K.
Probably London, Carfax Gallery, William Orpen: One Man Show, November 1901, cat.no.15 (as A Storm, Keal Kill)
Possibly London, New English Art Club, Winter Exhibition, 1901, cat.no.121 (as Kealkill)
Bruce Arnold, Orpen: Mirror to an Age, Jonathan Cape, London, 1981, pp.101-105
The location depicted in the present work is almost certainly the village of Kealkill, Lisheens, West Co. Cork, Ireland. In August-September 1901, Orpen and his bride, Grace Knewstub, spent their honeymoon at Lisheens, Pearsons Bridge, near Bantry, which had been bequeathed to the Artist’s father, Arthur Herbert Orpen, and was used as a holiday home. The Orpen family were landowners and landlords in the area, and the now ruined house is still on the Lisheens (Little Forts) townland. According to Bruce Arnold in his book, Orpen: Mirror to an Age, in the Summer of 1901, Orpen was preparing for his first one-man exhibition, which was to take place at the Carfax Gallery, London, that November , and that Orpen ‘was worried about not having enough work for it; and intended to paint landscapes while on honeymoon.’ Consequently, in the quest for suitable subject landscapes, he hired bicycles sent from Dublin to reconnoitre the surrounding countryside. Set between the villages of Pearson’s Bridge and Kealkill, the honeymoon abode was situated, just off the R584, and both villages featured in pictures that Orpen exhibited in his one-man exhibition at the Carfax Gallery.
Text from Bonhams, post by Dominic Lee.