© Estate of Paul Henry, IVARO Dublin, 2018
 
Paul Henry, Irish, 1876-1958
Title: A Connemara Village
Date: 1930-1933
Medium: Oil on wood panel
Dimensions:
76.2 x 91.4 cm
Signed: lower right: PAUL HENRY
Credit Line: Purchased, 2004
Object Number: NGI.4734
DescriptionThis comparatively large painting by Henry records with great accuracy the view eastwards from the quay on the Clifden road just over a kilometre west of Letterfrack, County Galway. A carefully annotated pencil study of the scene, in a sketchbook in the Gallery’s collection, shows the care and discipline Henry employed when arranging and colouring such seemingly simple compositions.
The cluster of diminutive, white-washed cottages, picked out by sunlight against a backdrop of mountains and an impressive sky, is a motif that recurs in Henry’s landscape painting from the early 1920s onwards. These cottages emphasise the grandeur of the local scenery while simultaneously alluding to the isolation of rural communities and their reliance on the land. Individual characters and human activity are, however, conspicuous by their absence from Henry’s mature work. These landscapes are animated by the interplay of physical elements and profiles, the play of light upon them, and the bold patterns and shapes created in large, cloudy skies. The colour range, more evocative than naturalistic, and the schematic composition are both qualities with which Henry is closely associated. Though painted in the artist’s Dublin studio, this picture is the product of experience and assiduous observation in the west of Ireland, and typifies those views by Henry that have been fondly celebrated as quintessentially Irish.

March 2016

ProvenancePurchased from the Artist by Private Collector; purchased, Christie's, London, Irish Sale, 14th May 2004, lot 148
Exhibition History'In Connemara', Paintings by Paul Henry RHA, Fine Art Society, London, 1934

Paul Henry 1876-1958, Trinity College, Dublin; Ulster Museum, Belfast, 1973

Paul Henry, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 2003

Taking Stock: Acquisitions 2000-2010, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 13 March 2010 - 25 July 2010
Label TextThis comparatively large painting records, with great accuracy, the view eastwards from the quay on the Clifden road just over a kilometre west of Letterfrack, Co. Galway. The cluster of diminutive cottages, picked out by sunlight against a backdrop of mountains and sky, is a motif that recurs in Henry’s landscape painting from the early 1920s onwards. Human activity is conspicuous by its absence. The landscape is animated instead by the interplay of physical elements and profiles, the play of light upon them, and the bold patterns and shapes created by voluminous clouds.