2017-11-22-2018-11-21 --- 2018-11-21 02:36:54--18
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LOT :82
Robert Ballagh (b.1943)
Estimate EUR : €1,500.00 - €2,500.00
Auction Date : 22-11-2017


Robert Ballagh (b.1943)

The Bombing of Belfast WWII

Oil on canvas laid on board, 28 x 23cm (11 x 9'')

Signed with initials; signed again, inscribed with title and dated (20)05 verso

Provenance: The Eamonn Mallie Collection

In executing this work The Bombing of Belfast WWII, Robert Ballagh yet again was signalling his awareness that the island of Ireland does not stop at Dundalk. His depiction of this German air raid on Belfast resonates of Sir John Lavery's London painting 'Daylight Raid from my Studio Window.' (Ulster Museum). Not alone do we observe the imminent aerial assault but we see the on-the-ground effort at resistance by the people of Northern Ireland with limited means to repel the German bombers. There is not much light in this painting with the ghost of war everywhere - bombers in the air, heavy guns on the ground. Such is the military focus in the painting that one could forget that Belfast lost scores of lives during the Blitz in World War II.


The Germans launched four attacks on strategic locations in the city in April and May 1941. On 15 April 1941 two hundred bombers of the Luftwaffe attacked military and manufacturing targets in Belfast. Nine hundred people died as a result of the bombing and fifteen hundred were injured. Significantly Dublin firemen and fire engines raced to Belfast to render assistance. Such was the impact of the air raids on Belfast that many families fled the city and out of this, grew many large villages and towns within twenty miles of Belfast - places which continue to thrive to this day.


Eamonn Mallie

Hammer Price : €1,800.00
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