2017-11-22-2018-11-21 --- 2018-11-21 01:48:09--18
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LOT :38
Basil Blackshaw HRHA RUA (1932-2016)
Estimate EUR : €10,000.00 - €15,000.00
Auction Date : 22-11-2017


Basil Blackshaw HRHA RUA (1932-2016)

Portrait of Jude (1989)

Pastel and oil on paper, 61 x 61cm, (24 x 24)

Dated Jan 89


Provenance: The Eamonn Mallie Collection, acquired at the 'Exhibition of Irish Art', Narrow Water Castle.


Exhibited: Basil Blackshaw Painter touring exhibition, Ormeau Baths, 1995, Model Arts, Sligo 1996, RHA Gallery, Dublin 1997.


Literature: Basil Blackshaw Painter by Brian Ferran, illustrated plate 63, p.66; 'Basil Blackshaw by Eamonn Mallie illustrated Plate 92, p.222


Basil Blackshaw's model Jude Stephenson is almost as well known as Basil himself. A trained anthropologist, Jude sat for Blackshaw for more than three decades. In her own words "I loved Basil but not in the conventional sense." She loved his wildness, his unpredictability, his challenge whether walking the shore line on the North West coast during which once, he challenged her to pose nude hanging from the rocks. She dutifully did and I will not disclose the details of the sequel in the pub to which Basil and Jude retired and where Basil unveiled some of his coastline drawings to some of the unsuspecting male patrons of the establishment.

A gifted lady in so many ways Jude shared so many of Blackshaw's passions, for dogs, the countryside, art and 'quare boys' as they say in the countryside to describe characters. A lot of collectors are more familiar with Jude without her clothes than with her clothes. The 'Jude' illustrated here, by consensus of opinion encapsulates the sheer beauty of the lady adorned with wonderful flashes of pink and blue in her hair by the artist this time using charcoal. The pouting mouth is exquisite in execution. One senses the celerity with which Blackshaw tackled his subject to win that immediacy and freshness. I sense Blackshaw felt an urgency about bringing the work to fruition knowing that he had to get it right there and then. He knew there was no going back as was the experience of Degas.

Jude floated into my life in January 1989 as annotated on the surface of the work, (viewed by the artist as very much as an inseparable part of the image) when I walked into an exhibition of Irish art hosted by Maeve Hall of Narrowater Castle in Warrenpoint. The minute I spotted the painting in a corridor I called out "Maeve put a red dot on this for me." I found out the price later. My old friend Vincent Ferguson of Sligo, another Blackshaw aficionado, later persuaded me to let him have Jude in a transaction. Jude's absence from our home was much lamented by my wife, deemed her favourite work and several years later in another happy exchange with Vincent, Jude like a favourite pet, made her way back to our Myrtlefield home where she has dwelled for many years with a very happy lady of the house.

Eamonn Mallie


Hammer Price : €32,000.00
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