2018-03-27-2018-12-14 --- 2018-12-14 21:34:08--18
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LOT :12
Daniel O'Neill (1920-1974)
Country Cart
Oil on board, 35 x 46cm (13¾ x 18'')
Estimate EUR : €6,000.00 - €8,000.00
Auction Date : 27-03-2018


Daniel O'Neill (1920-1974)
Country Cart
Oil on board, 35 x 46cm (13¾ x 18'')
Signed; inscribed with title verso

Provenance: With the Waddington Galleries (label verso).

This work was probably executed between 1953- 1955 when ONeill was living in Co. Down with his partner Sheilagh Deacon. The work is stylistically similar to the Balloon Seller (1953) and Two Heads (1955). An energetic painter, ONeills style changed a number of times from 1948-1955. In the early 1950s, ONeill reverted to an earlier expressionist style where electric colour evoked emotion and dramatic light caused melancholy but in 1953, ONeills exhibition at Waddington Galleries showed a move away from romantic emotion and introduced a sweeter palette and a fairyland narrative. Detail becomes less important and brushwork and subject matter are more in keeping with the Impressionists.


Born in Belfast, ONeill had little orthodox training except for a few classes at the College of Art, Belfast. Working as an Electrical engineer, he began painting full time after meeting the Dublin dealer, Victor Waddington in 1945. Several one man shows followed and he was also represented in several overseas exhibitions organized by Waddington. In 1954 ONeill exhibited in at least two American shows, and held a joint exhibition with Colin Middleton at Tooths Galleries in London. Preoccupied with painting techniques throughout his life, ONeill was fascinated with the effects of texture on the painting surface. In the 1940s, liquid paint was applied to the surface in layers but in this composition paint is dragged, scumbled and scrapped away to hold the viewers attention.

Facing the viewer, a family in a cart with their animals directly faces the viewer. Wrapped in a shawl a mother protects her child during a stop in their journey. The cart and animals suggest a rural location, but the environment is illusive. Little detail is provided but the focus is on concern and guardianship of a family as they travel on a journey. Susan Stairs stated that ONeill drew his subject matter from his lifes experiences, and imbued it with his own passionate nature. Being a man who felt deeply about life, his work often betrayed his own feeling. (The Irish Figurists, Dublin, 1990 pg. 138)

Karen Reihill March 2018


Hammer Price : €6,000.00
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