© Estate of Louis le Brocquy
Louis le Brocquy, Irish, 1916-2012
Title: Mother and Child
Date: 1950
Medium: Graphite, wash and white crayon
15 x 15 cm
Signed: lower right: LE BROCQUY 50
Credit Line: Purchased, 2016
Object Number: NGI.2016.24
DescriptionThis drawing, depicting a careworn mother and child begging on the street, was drawn in 1950 and relates to the Travellers series (1945-50). The composition, with a baby slumped on its mother's back, is reminiscent of that series, where children are shown clinging to their mother's skirts. Although viewed by many as a quintessentially Irish subject, the Travellers series was produced in sympathy with the plight of the gypsies who had suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime'. (Louis le Brocquy, Allegory and Legend, 2006). However, the treatment of the figures and overall subdued colour in this drawing also points the the artist's Grey Period: Family paintings (c.1951-54), which is charcaterised by a restricted palette. That said, the features on both the mother and child in this drawing appear to be Asian. One wonders was le Brocquy making reference to the suffering of the Japanese people in the aftermath of the bombing of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945, during the final stage of world War II.
ProvenanceSotheby's, London, 11 May 2006, The Irish Sale, lot 106; Private Collection; purchased, Whyte's, Dublin, 30 May 2016, Important Irish Art, lot 33

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