2017-11-22-2019-02-22 --- 2019-02-22 22:54:12--18
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LOT :130
Basil Blackshaw HRHA RUA (1932-2016)
Estimate EUR : €15,000.00 - €20,000.00
Auction Date : 22-11-2017


Basil Blackshaw HRHA RUA (1932-2016)

Henry and Gilbert

Oil on canvas, 116.9 x 119.4cm (46 x 47)

Provenance: The Eamonn Mallie Collection


'Henry and Gilbert' - one of Blackshaw's larger figurative paintings has a resonance with Belfast society of the late nineteen sixties and early seventies.


Henry Robinson was a distinguished architect, famed for designing what was said to be the first Belfast 'hacienda' in the middle class area of Malone where many of the city's business and professional Unionist classes lived within easy reach of their offices, hospitals, Queen's University and some of the best known State schools in Northern Ireland. Henry was among the very first 'society' professionals to 'come out' in Belfast.


Slade artist Tom Carr who knew Robinson told me he was universally liked and was excellent company. The ladies loved him I was told. It was during a trip to Goso, off Malta, with his partner Helen Falloon, that Basil Blackshaw was inspired to do a number of sketches of the ailing Henry and his life-giving dog Gilbert. In this work the aptitude for drawing with which Blackshaw was copiously endowed jumps out at us in the execution of Henry's hands and chair, not to speak of the mastery with which he captured the panting of his dog Gilbert. Does the Dalmatian want to go outside to relieve himself? Possibly - he is poised for the off, brimming with energy in marked contrast to his owner.


I can only suspect 'Henry and Gilbert' came through the Tom Caldwell Galleries in Belfast or Dublin. It fell into my hands through Vincent Ferguson who was an avid purchaser of Blackshaw and other Northern painters like Middleton, Carr, Flanagan etc from the Caldwell Gallery in Dublin from the early nineteen-eighties onwards.

Eamonn Mallie


Hammer Price : €18,000.00
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