BECOMING the most expensive painting ever sold in Ireland, A Fair Day, Mayo by Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957) was knocked down at €1m (£917,430) at Adam's lastest sale in Dublin.
In a result which could provide a much-need shot in the arm to
the Irish art market, the price on September 28 was the second
highest for the artist, only marginally behind The Whistle of a
Jacket, which made £1m at Christie's in May 2001.
The bidding started at £300,000 and three bidders were still in
contention up to £920,000. It finally sold to a private collector
on the phone, underbid by the London trade. Afterwards the
auctioneers said they believed the painting would be staying in
The 2ft x 3ft (61 x 92cm) oil on canvas showing a bustling
country fair in West Coast Ireland was a well-known picture to
followers of the country's greatest modern painter. It dated from
1925, a key year when the artist began to move away from his early
narrative style towards expressionism.
Yeats had lent it to Eamon de Valera, the leader of the new
Fianna Fail party, who displayed it in his offices at Suffolk Place
before it was sold for £250 to the vendor's family in 1944.
The buyer's premium was 18 per cent.