Nathaniel Hone RHA (1831 - 1917) Cattle in Pasture by the co...

by Adam's Auctioneers




Nathaniel Hone RHA (1831 - 1917) Cattle in Pasture by the coast at Malahide, County Dublin, with a view of the Martello Tower, later Hicks' Tower Oil on canvas, 42 x 63cm (16½ x 24¾) Provenance: Acquired from the artist by Sir Robert Henry Woods (1865-1938) and thence by descent; On reverse a label of William Rodman, 12 Arthur Street, Belfast. This and the following lot, both by Nathaniel Hone (1831-1917) come from the collection formed by the artist’s friend, the eminent Dublin surgeon and Member of Parliament, Sir Robert Henry Woods (1865–1938). Born in Tullamore in humble circumstances, he enjoyed a glittering career at Trinity College, Dublin and, as the Dictionary of Irish Biography notes, ‘graduated MB, BAO, B.Ch. in 1889 and the following year received a surgical travelling prize which enabled him to visit Austria. Following in the footsteps of Sir William Wilde, he studied ear, nose, and throat surgery in Vienna. Though he is known principally for his work in ENT surgery, he made fundamental contributions to the understanding of the biophysics of cardiac function’. On his return to Ireland Woods secured several eminent positions in Dublin hospitals and opened a private practice at 39 Merrion Square. He soon won a European-wide reputation and, according to his pupil, Oliver St John Gogarty, was a ‘dextrous’ and ‘masterly’ surgeon. Woods was a popular figure in Irish cultural circles and served as president of the Royal Dublin Zoological Society, presenting ‘a number of animals to the zoo following a visit to the Far East to see one of his sons, who was a barrister in Malaysia’ (DIB). He was knighted in 1913. Respected on both sides of an increasingly polarised Irish society, in July 1921 Woods took part in the Mansion House Conference which led to a truce in hostilities between Republican and British forces. As Thomas Bodkin noted more than a century ago, many of Nathaniel Hone’s finest works are scenes of Malahide, County Dublin, an area he knew intimately having settled there, to paint and to farm, after his long sojourn in France. Here he portrays the Martello tower built in about 1805 and which, soon after he painted (c. 1911), would be transformed into an Arts and Crafts residence by his friend the architect Frederick Hicks (1870-1965), for his own occupation, and which is still known locally as Hicks’ Tower. Hicks was one of the leading architects in Ireland of the Edwardian period and a neighbour of Hone in his latter years. He designed the Irish pavilion at the 1904 exhibition in St Louis, Missouri, USA which ‘convincingly reproduced historic Irish architectural treasures, [as] an eclectic showcase of what he could achieve in Ireland’ (DIB). Other commissions include ‘Cooldrinagh’, Samuel Beckett’s birthplace in Foxrock, and the Iveagh baths and market (c.1905). He is buried in St Andrew’s Church, Malahide, also resting place of Nathaniel Hone. The setting shown here could not have been closer to Hone’s own doorstep when he lived at Moldowney House just two minutes walk away along the Coast Road, before inheriting St Doulough’s in 1896. Hone here is at his most impressionistic, painting with great freedom and sparkling vigour and in subject, palette and delicate control of the composition he anticipates his most famous work Pastures at Malahide (National Gallery of Ireland). A smaller canvas depicting almost exactly the same view was sold in these rooms on 2nd June 2021 (Lot 46).

Auction Date:
29th May 24 at 6pm BST

Fees apply to the hammer price:

Free Registration
28.6% inc VAT*

Flat Fee Registration
25.00% inc VAT*

*These fees include buyers premiums and internet surcharges.
Please see the auctioneers terms & conditions for more information

Other Lots in this Auction

Adam's Auctioneers

Sale Dates:
29th May 2024 6pm BST (Lots 1.00 to 124.00)