The National Gallery of Ireland has in recent months secured several important nineteenth- and twentieth century works of art which will benefit its collection of European and Irish art.
In May, the Gallery purchased a large abstract work, Umpferstedt III by the American artist Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956), at Sotheby's, in New York (7 May, $1,700,000). Executed during a pivotal time in Feininger's career when he joined the Bauhaus (1919), the painting is one of three works produced in Umpferstedt, in the Weimar region of Germany. The painting is an important addition to the Gallery's early modern collection and will complement its holdings of German Expressionist works by Nolde and Pechstein, and the Cubist works of Picasso and Gris.
The Gallery also purchased Bord d'un canal, près de Naples by the Impressionist artist, Gustave Caillebotte (1848-94), at Christie's Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art, in New York (8 May, $445,000). Painted 'en plein air' in 1872 while the artist was on a trip to Italy with his father, the painting depicts the curved forms of a canal and pathway reaching to the horizon in a flat Italian landscape.
Among the recent additions to the Irish collection are Death by Harry Kernoff (1900-74) purchased at Sotheby's Irish Sale, in London (7 May). Also acquired was a graphic work by Kernoff, Liberty Hall, Dublin 1928, which was purchased at Adam's/Bonhams in Dublin (28 May). At the same sale the Gallery also purchased Shaw's Bridge by John Luke (1906-75), which is a fine example of the artist's decorative formalism.
A noteworthy acquisition to the Yeats collection was A New York Sketchbook by John Butler Yeats (1839-1922), purchased at Whyte's in Dublin (28 April, €16,000). The bound sketchbook comprises 23 pencil drawings, depicting friends and acquaintances such as the Irish American layer, John Quinn, American artist, John Sloan, and Mary Shaw, a wealthy patron who visited Yeats at Petitpas boarding house where he stayed on his arrival in New York.