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Lot 44: James le Jeune RHA (1910-1983) UPPER BAGGOT STREET
Irish & British Art
March 2, 2009
Description: James le Jeune RHA (1910-1983) UPPER BAGGOT STREET signed lower right; Gallery label on reverse oil on board 41 by 51cm., 16 by 20in> Provenance: Oriel Gallery Dublin; Private collection Born in Canada, James George le Jeune's father was a musician of Anglo-French extraction, whilst his mother was Irish. When he was just two years old his family moved to Brittany, where he spent his childhood. He was sent to boarding school in England but returned to France to study art in Paris. Further studies followed at Heatherley's Academy in London, Byam Shaw and the Art Student's League in New York. Back in London he also studied architecture and, after a period serving with the British Army during the Second World War, he worked as an architect firstly in London and then in Dublin, to where he moved in 1950. During these years he exhibited his paintings on occasion. He showed at the ROI in 1948, the RSA in 1950, and the RHA from 1951 almost annually until his death. In 1951 he turned to painting full-time. Victor Waddington gave him his first solo show in 1954. He also exhibited at the Little Theatre, Brown Thomas, and with the WCSI. His work is represented in the collections of the NGI, McKee Barracks, Dublin and the Crawford Gallery in Cork among others. The Dublin Magazine once commented that he showed a certain mastery in the handling of crowd scenes (see Snoddy, p. 344). This is clearly exhibited in this work which depicts Dublin's Upper Baggot Street. The animated use of paint, using short wide brush strokes, evident here, is a characteristic feature of his style. Le Jeune's studio was located close to this scene, on Baggot Lane, and he was a regular visitor to Searson's, the local public house which is still in operation today>