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Paul Henry RHA (1876-1958) 'Hillside Cottages, Connemara'
Oil on board 46x56cm, Signed bottom right Paul Henry.
Provenance:
John Gilbert, Cork, 1930s;
Woodward Auction, Cork, c.1964;
Michael ‘Dick’ Donegan;
thence by descent.
Verso in pencil: M. Quinlan, 6-8 South Mall; Quillivan, in chalk, perhaps one and the same.
Label fragment copy verso: Cork, Tel. 442, [John Gilbert, 120 Patrick Street, Cork];
Nat Ross, repository, Cork, no. G 53.
Reference:
S.B. Kennedy, Catalogue of Paintings, Yale University Press, 2007, no. 486.

The current work is based on a particular motif first employed in 1917 by Paul Henry in Cottages in Connemara where we find two cottages standing side by side with turf stacked against the gable walls. A narrow track, lined with fence posts on both sides, runs towards a distant mountain, set against billowing clouds. It was a simple motif on which he based many variations throughout his career. Painted perhaps within the following decade, Hillside Cottages, Connemara is a variation in which the track runs between two cottages with the addition of a bog pool and peat stacks in the foreground. Beyond the cottages, the middle-ground runs towards a wider range of mountain peaks. There are no figures and little need for them, their place taken by the cottages and peat stacks. Looking north-west towards Benglenisky in the townland of Loughanillaun, Henry painted this remote group of cottages many times. On the south-west fringe of the Benns, the road from Ballynahinch into Clifden is hidden in the valley below the mountains.


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