64 46 Patrick Collins HRHA (1910-1994) DUBLIN BAY, 1963 oil on board signed lower right 24 by 30in. (61 by 76.2cm) Frame Dimensions: 29 by 35in. (73.7 by 88.9cm) Provenance: Ritchie Hendriks Gallery, Dublin, 1964; Private collection Exhibited: Possibly in the Irish Exhibition of Living Art, 1963, under the title Summer’s Evening, Dublin Bay); Ritchie Hendriks Gallery, 1964; Patrick Collins Retrospective, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin, 1982 This is a striking, atmospheric painting that captures a significant shift in the work of Patrick Collins, one of the foremost Irish artists of the 20th century. The composition is close to that of Bridge and Trees, painted a year earlier, a notably more expressionist, agitated and, as Dr Frances Ruane noted, ‘Yeatsian’ painting. In Dublin Bay, Collins has moved decisively towards a calm, atmospheric evocation of space - a hallmark of his mature style. The impressively rugged-looking mounds of the trees dominate the dark foreground and partly obscure the distant north shore of the bay, sparkling with lights in the encroaching dusk, evident in the subtle grey halo that frames the composition. Mist from the sea softens the outline of Howth Head and merges sea and sky. The use of intractable sculptural masses, together with layered expanses of generally muted colour charged with a degree of luminosity, comprise the essence of Collins’ approach from this point onwards. Born in Dromore West in Sligo, Collins was substantially formed by his early years of freedom running wild in the rural landscape. He felt understandably constrained as a teenage boarder at St Vincent’s Orphanage in Glasnevin and subsequently, working as a clerk in Dublin, and he gravitated towards literature and art, idolising Joyce. Living for a time in a tower in Howth Castle, he aspired to write and took art lessons. By the early 1950s he felt he was finding his voice through painting and his first solo show at the Ritchie Hendriks Gallery in 1956 was very successful. In his paintings he managed, without a hint of nostalgia, to convey the essence of an Ireland mythical and real, ancient and modern. He was instinctively attuned to the atmospherics of bogland and ocean, and the misty, watery Irish light. A private, even reclusive man, he almost shunned publicity during his lifetime but has long been recognised as a major Irish painter. Aidan Dunne, November 2021 €15,000-€20,000 (£12,710-£16,950 approx.) Click here for more images and to bid on this lot46