A voyage crowned with success for Yeats

On 17 July 2020, by Philippe Dufour

This painting by the Irish artist was eagerly awaited at auction, as his work with its powerful style is not often found this side of the Atlantic.

Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957) Sculling (Godille), 1912, oil on panel, signed 24.5 x 35.5 cm.
Result: €141,500

Sculling (Godille) (24.5 x 35.5 cm, 9.6 x 13.9 in) depicts a sailor of the Emerald Isle sculling through the waves with the bare strength of his arms. The scene was painted in 1912 by one of Ireland's leading early 20th century artists: Jack Butler Yeats. A star in his mother country (with an entire section devoted to him in the Dublin National Gallery), the painter was an exponent of an Expressionist movement whose symbolic themes evoked the tough life of his compatriots. Highly sought-after, his work always inspires fierce battles in the saleroom, and this panel from a Bordeaux collection was no different. Though several Irish collectors were competing, it was finally carried off by a French buyer for €141,500 after a high estimate of €40,000. The more affordable decorative arts were not forgotten, starting with an appealing and characteristic Dutch display cabinet in veneer wood and marquetry, with two glass doors (230 x 175 x 45 cm, 7.5 x 5.7 x 1.4 ft). Its well-rounded forms and jigsaw-cut pediment, in vogue in the 18th century, attracted €5,160.

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