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Lot 42: Patrick Hennessy RHA (1915-1980) The Bronze Horses of Saint Marks (1953)Oil on canvas, 101 x 76.5cm (39¾ x 30)SignedExhibited: RHA Annual Exhibition 1953 Cat. No. 67; “Patrick Hennessy Exhibition” Dublin Painters Gallery November 1953 Cat. N

Important Irish Art 7th December 2016

by Adam's

December 7, 2016

Dublin 2, Dublin, Ireland

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Patrick (1915) Hennessy (1915-1980) Please Register/Login to access your Invaluable Alerts

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Description: Patrick Hennessy RHA (1915-1980) The Bronze Horses of Saint Marks (1953)Oil on canvas, 101 x 76.5cm (39¾ x 30)SignedExhibited: RHA Annual Exhibition 1953 Cat. No. 67; “Patrick Hennessy Exhibition” Dublin Painters Gallery November 1953 Cat. No. 8; The Royal Academy London Annual Exhibition 1955 Cat. No. 13; “The Language of Dreams : Dreams and the Unconscious in 20th Century Irish Art”; The Crawford Art Gallery Cork Oct 2015 - Feb 2016; “Patrick Hennessy : De Profundis Exhibition Irish Museum of Modern Art March - July 2016.Literature: “The language of dreams : Dreams and the Unconscious in 20th Century Irish Art”, The Crawford Gallery Cork 2015, full page illustration page 31; “Patrick Hennessy : De Profundis “ Exhibition Irish Museum of Modern Art 2016, illustrated page 31.The Lion of St. Mark and the Bronze Horses of St. Mark are the two emblematic symbols of the Republic of Venice. From the time the Bronze Horses were looted from the Emperor’s box in the Hippodrome in Constantinople in 1204 by the Venetians, signalling the end of the Byzantine empire, they became the emblem of Venetian power in the Adriatic and Mediterranean until it ended with the conquest and occupation of Venice by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797 and the removal of the Horses to Paris. After the Congress of Vienna (1815), they were returned to Venice, but the power of Venice was over and the city slid into decline in the 19th century and rescued in the 20th century by the vast numbers of tourists seeking the treasures of the city.Patrick Hennessy’s painting of the Horses is dramatic in its viewpoint, composition and colour. The four prancing statues stand proud and arrogant, silhouetted against a dark brooding sky. Because we are looking up at them, they have a majestic appearance and set against the façade of St. Mark’s Cathedral, appear to be emerging from the stone. The colours are sombre and continue the mood of power and majesty - a good example of Hennessy’s ability to create an atmospheric mood with paint. This painting is one of Hennessy’s finest works, and this has been recognised by some eminent people.In conversation with the author the owner, Major Stephen Vernon, quoted Sir Kenneth Clark after viewing the painting in the Royal Academy, as saying about Hennessy’s 'The Bronze Horses of St. Mark', “In any country in any century, this would be viewed as a fine painting.” Praise indeed.Kevin A. Rutledge November 2016

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