Modernists and mavericks from Paris to Wicklow
Mainie Jellett, Paul Henry and Jack B Yeats shine in a collection of starry Irish art
Like good wine, an idea in the mind of an artist can lie dormant for decades before reaching full maturity. A headline lot at Adam’s this week is Jack B Yeats’s The Belle of Chinatown. It was painted in 1943, but its genesis can be found in sketches made during his 1904 trip to Manhattan. Yeats was captivated by the cosmopolitan atmosphere – Chinatown was a favourite haunt, and he revelled in the dramatically contrasting light caused by the skyscrapers lining the urban canyons. The result is a scintillating vignette of the city, peopled by a little girl, and an old man selling five-cent hats. Measuring 35.5×46cm, it is expected to realise €80,000–€120,000.
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