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James Brenan Sold at Auction Prices

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    • James Brenan (Irish, 1837-1907) Irish country girl
      Nov. 15, 2023

      James Brenan (Irish, 1837-1907) Irish country girl

      Est: £2,000 - £3,000

      James Brenan (Irish, 1837-1907) Irish country girl signed with monogram and dated '1861' (lower left) oil on canvas 57.1 x 46.6cm (22 1/2 x 18 3/8in).

      Bonhams
    • James Butler Brenan, Oil on Canvas
      Aug. 27, 2023

      James Butler Brenan, Oil on Canvas

      Est: $10,000 - $12,000

      James Butler Brenan (IRISH 1825-1889) Oil on Canvas Portrait of a man Section F

      1stBid
    • James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) GRANNY'S TREASURE, 1893
      May. 29, 2023

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) GRANNY'S TREASURE, 1893

      Est: €8,000 - €12,000

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) GRANNY'S TREASURE, 1893 oil on canvas signed with monogram and dated lower right; titled on label on reverse h:24  w:20 in. Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1894, catalogue no. 25

      Whyte's
    • James Brenan (Irish, 1837-1907) Irish country girl
      Mar. 08, 2023

      James Brenan (Irish, 1837-1907) Irish country girl

      Est: £3,000 - £5,000

      James Brenan (Irish, 1837-1907) Irish country girl signed with monogram and dated '1861' (lower left) oil on canvas 57.1 x 46.6cm (22 1/2 x 18 3/8in).

      Bonhams
    • James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) MORNING PRAYER, COTTAGE INTERIOR, COUNTY CORK, 1901
      Nov. 28, 2022

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) MORNING PRAYER, COTTAGE INTERIOR, COUNTY CORK, 1901

      Est: €10,000 - €15,000

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) MORNING PRAYER, COTTAGE INTERIOR, COUNTY CORK, 1901 oil on canvas signed and dated with monogram '19JB01' lower left; original inscribed label on reverse h:14  w:21 in. Provenance: By descent from the artist to the previous owner; Whyte's, 2 March 2009, lot 161; Private collection; Whyte's, 31 May 2021, lot 23; Private collection Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1902, catalogue no. 61 (£20-0-0) One of Ireland’s most important and prolific genre painters, James Brenan was born in Dublin, where he trained at the Royal Hibernian Academy School. His interest in the condition and improvement of Irish manufacturing was kindled by his work on the London’s Great Exhibition, in 1851, where he assisted Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt and Owen Jones in the decoration of the Pompeian and Roman Courts. Later he was to return to Ireland with samples of lace, which he used to upgrade and encourage the standard of Irish lace making and to set up schools in rural areas. He was an early champion of women’s causes, and the average of three titles that he exhibited annually at Dublin’s RHA (from 1861 until 1906), reveal his enduring concern for the rural poor, their housing, language and education. He taught at various English art schools, including Liverpool, Yarmouth and Taunton, before becoming headmaster of the Cork School of Art from 1860 to 1869. This steady income enabled him to indulge in his real passion, genre painting, which otherwise lacked commercial appeal amongst the wealthy Irish, who were more likely to buy paintings of themselves, their horses or their houses, than depictions of their poor tenants. Brenan’s fascinating legacy of genre paintings, provide unique insights into how people survived at a time when fishing families were suffering from poor catches, and farmers suffered recurrent failures of their potato crops. In recent decades a number of his paintings have come to light, and a regular habit of painting one year, and exhibiting the resulting work the following year, emerges. Titles such as Notice to Quit, Bankrupt (both lent to exhibitions in London), Patchwork and Words of Counsel (the latter two now in the Crawford Art Gallery Collection in Cork) demonstrate his skill in drawing contentious issues like eviction, under-funded education, emigration and archaic arranged marriage customs, into the public debate. He was a feminist before the term was current, and women and their children were frequently and always sympathetically featured. He opened up avenues for other painters to dare to explore subsequently; such controversial subjects were also tackled by painters such Howard Helmick, Charles Cook and Erskine Nicol. When teaching in Cork, he was within easy reach of rural areas: a fertile ground for his sympathies. Specific aspects and features of architecture and furnishings are recognisable as characteristic of west Cork, which was within reach of Cork city by horse. The most intriguing and unusual aspect of this painting is the type of timber covered bed in the background: a type which endured well into the twentieth century throughout Ireland. In poor houses with draughts and thatch that tended to be dusty and to leak, the so called canopy or camp bed was a shelter within a shelter. It had nothing to do with the fashion for tester beds that endured in the big houses, but instead was highly functional, and despite shortage of timber, enabled families to huddle together and stay warm using the heat of their bodies, in our damp climate. The open floor level turf fire caused draughts, so raising the bedding kept it dry and sheltered the sleepers, with a curtain usually draped across the open front. Brenan shows the end of one of these dominating structures, with its boarded canted roof. Others had arched roofs, or square tops, but this one matches rare surviving examples precisely, with its hipped form. The mother is kneeling to pray facing the open front of the bed, where a homemade patchwork quilt is draped, as a covering. Above her head hang fishing nets, suggesting that they live in a coastal area. Inside the open doorway, the barefoot daughter kneels at a ‘carpenter’s chair’ of a type typical of county Cork cottages. Just enough of the slightly tattered, old, red painted dresser, is shown on the far right, for us to recognise its old dated open fronted design, with two drawers; typical of county Cork in its form. Local wheelwrights usually produced such objects, and made provision for the display of spoons in slots at eye level, which feature clearly in Brenan’s oil Committee of Inspection (Crawford Art Gallery collection). By this time, the most desirable dressers had glazed tops and enclosed bases, to reduce housework. The cat, with his saucer of milk in the foreground, was worth feeding as he kept rats at bay. Such social realism with its depiction of careful frugality, lack of ostentation, and keeping of the faith encouraged sympathy for the poor. It is the only known oil painting to show one of these extraordinary beds, which now survive in museums or appear in early illustrations showing poor housing. The medical profession condemned them as ill ventilated, so encouraged their replacement with hygienic brass and iron beds. Dr Claudia Kinmonth MA (RCA)

      Whyte's
    • James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) MORNING PRAYER, COTTAGE INTERIOR, COUNTY CORK, 1901
      May. 31, 2021

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) MORNING PRAYER, COTTAGE INTERIOR, COUNTY CORK, 1901

      Est: €10,000 - €15,000

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) MORNING PRAYER, COTTAGE INTERIOR, COUNTY CORK, 1901 oil on canvas signed and dated with monogram '19JB01' lower left; original inscribed label on reverse h:14  w:21 in. Provenance: By descent from the artist to the previous owner; Whyte's, 2 March 2009, lot 161; Private collection Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1902, catalogue no. 61 (£20-0-0) One of Ireland’s most important and prolific genre painters, James Brenan was born in Dublin, where he trained at the Royal Hibernian Academy School. His interest in the condition and improvement of Irish manufacturing was kindled by his work on the London’s Great Exhibition, in 1851, where he assisted Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt and Owen Jones in the decoration of the Pompeian and Roman Courts. Later he was to return to Ireland with samples of lace, which he used to upgrade and encourage the standard of Irish lace making and to set up schools in rural areas. He was an early champion of women’s causes, and the average of three titles that he exhibited annually at Dublin’s RHA (from 1861 until 1906), reveal his enduring concern for the rural poor, their housing, language and education. He taught at various English art schools, including Liverpool, Yarmouth and Taunton, before becoming headmaster of the Cork School of Art from 1860 to 1869. This steady income enabled him to indulge in his real passion, genre painting, which otherwise lacked commercial appeal amongst the wealthy Irish, who were more likely to buy paintings of themselves, their horses or their houses, than depictions of their poor tenants. Brenan’s fascinating legacy of genre paintings, provide unique insights into how people survived at a time when fishing families were suffering from poor catches, and farmers suffered recurrent failures of their potato crops. In recent decades a number of his paintings have come to light, and a regular habit of painting one year, and exhibiting the resulting work the following year, emerges. Titles such as Notice to Quit, Bankrupt (both lent to exhibitions in London), Patchwork and Words of Counsel (the latter two now in the Crawford Art Gallery Collection in Cork) demonstrate his skill in drawing contentious issues like eviction, under-funded education, emigration and archaic arranged marriage customs, into the public debate. He was a feminist before the term was current, and women and their children were frequently and always sympathetically featured. He opened up avenues for other painters to dare to explore subsequently; such controversial subjects were also tackled by painters such Howard Helmick, Charles Cook and Erskine Nicol. When teaching in Cork, he was within easy reach of rural areas: a fertile ground for his sympathies. Specific aspects and features of architecture and furnishings are recognisable as characteristic of west Cork, which was within reach of Cork city by horse. The most intriguing and unusual aspect of this painting is the type of timber covered bed in the background: a type which endured well into the twentieth century throughout Ireland. In poor houses with draughts and thatch that tended to be dusty and to leak, the so called canopy or camp bed was a shelter within a shelter. It had nothing to do with the fashion for tester beds that endured in the big houses, but instead was highly functional, and despite shortage of timber, enabled families to huddle together and stay warm using the heat of their bodies, in our damp climate. The open floor level turf fire caused draughts, so raising the bedding kept it dry and sheltered the sleepers, with a curtain usually draped across the open front. Brenan shows the end of one of these dominating structures, with its boarded canted roof. Others had arched roofs, or square tops, but this one matches rare surviving examples precisely, with its hipped form. The mother is kneeling to pray facing the open front of the bed, where a homemade patchwork quilt is draped, as a covering. Above her head hang fishing nets, suggesting that they live in a coastal area. Inside the open doorway, the barefoot daughter kneels at a ‘carpenter’s chair’ of a type typical of county Cork cottages. Just enough of the slightly tattered, old, red painted dresser, is shown on the far right, for us to recognise its old dated open fronted design, with two drawers; typical of county Cork in its form. Local wheelwrights usually produced such objects, and made provision for the display of spoons in slots at eye level, which feature clearly in Brenan’s oil Committee of Inspection (Crawford Art Gallery collection). By this time, the most desirable dressers had glazed tops and enclosed bases, to reduce housework. The cat, with his saucer of milk in the foreground, was worth feeding as he kept rats at bay. Such social realism with its depiction of careful frugality, lack of ostentation, and keeping of the faith encouraged sympathy for the poor. It is the only known oil painting to show one of these extraordinary beds, which now survive in museums or appear in early illustrations showing poor housing. The medical profession condemned them as ill ventilated, so encouraged their replacement with hygienic brass and iron beds. Dr Claudia Kinmonth MA (RCA)

      Whyte's
    • JAMES BRENAN, R.H.A. | Bankrupt
      Nov. 21, 2018

      JAMES BRENAN, R.H.A. | Bankrupt

      Est: £40,000 - £60,000

      oil on canvas

      Sotheby's
    • JAMES BUTLER BRENAN RHA (1837-1907) Portaits of a
      Sep. 07, 2011

      JAMES BUTLER BRENAN RHA (1837-1907) Portaits of a

      Est: €1,000 - €1,500

      JAMES BUTLER BRENAN RHA (1837-1907) Portaits of a Young Girl and Boy A pair, oil on canvas, 53 x 42cm Signed and dated 1861 (2)

      Adam's
    • James Brenan RHA (1837-1907)
      Mar. 14, 2011

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907)

      Est: €15,000 - €20,000

      THE FINISHING TOUCH, 1876 signed and dated with usual monogram '19JB01' lower left; with inscribed exhibition label on reverse detailing artist's name, title, address [Buckston Hill, Sundays Well, Cork] and price [£35-0-0]

      Whyte's
    • James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) Knitting by a Cottage
      Dec. 08, 2009

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) Knitting by a Cottage

      Est: €800 - €1,200

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) Knitting by a Cottage Window Oil on canvas, 30 x 21cm (11.75 x 8.25) Signed with monogram and dated '03

      Adam's
    • James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) STUDY OF AN OLD MAN
      Mar. 02, 2009

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) STUDY OF AN OLD MAN

      Est: €5,000 - €7,000

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) STUDY OF AN OLD MAN SEATED OUTSIDE A COTTAGE oil on canvas 52 by 34cm., 20.5 by 13.25in> Provenance: By decent from the artist to the previous owner This painting was also in the possession of the same descendant of James Brenan, as Morning Prayer [lot 161] when I examined and photographed it during the 1990s. I had recently given a public illustrated slide show and included some of Brenan's genre paintings. The owner of these two paintings had approached me afterwards, knowing that I was interested in seeing more of his work. Until that point the oils had been hung in the owner's home, and had not been seen publicly since Morning Prayer was exhibited in Dublin in 1902. The family had kept it, enjoying the understanding that it was the last painting that Brenan had been working on, before he death in 1907. This explains its unfinished, unsigned and undated state. After leaving his position in Cork where he was headmaster, he was appointed to the same top position at the Dublin school of Art, where he stayed until 1904. During this later period he continued to paint, and exhibited regularly right up until 1906, the year before he died, at the Royal Hibernian Academy> This unfinished oil of an old man, sitting and looking reflective, seems especially poignant and almost autobiographical, at the late stage of this artist's productive life, when he would have been in his seventieth year. The old man is dressed in old fashioned knee breeches, which were frequently worn like this, unbuttoned at the knee, and the patched yet tidy state of his jacket and Carolan hat was also typical attire for a working countryman, during the previous century. He appears to be sitting outside the doorway of a stone house, on a sheaf of oats, and the seed head of the oats and knife in his hands show that he is fashioning something out of the golden straw. His nailed working boots, typically depicted with realistic detail, suggest the hard working life the man has led> The man depicted here appears in at least one other of Brenan's works: e.g. Labourer with a Rake in a Flooded Field (Private collection, Dublin) - see fig. 1> Dr Claudia Kinmonth MA (RCA) Cork February 2009 Dr Kinmonth, is the author of Irish Country Furniture 1700-1950 (Yale University Press, 1993) and Irish Rural Interiors in Art (Yale University Press, 2006)>

      Whyte's
    • James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) "MORNING PRAYER",
      Mar. 02, 2009

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) "MORNING PRAYER",

      Est: €8,000 - €10,000

      James Brenan RHA (1837-1907) "MORNING PRAYER", COTTAGE INTERIOR, COUNTY CORK, 1901 signed and dated with monogram '19JB01' lower left; original inscribed label on reverse oil on canvas 34.3 by 52cm., 14 by 20in> Provenance: By decent from the artist to the previous owner Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1902, catalogue no. 61 (£20-0-0) One of Ireland's most important and prolific genre painters, James Brenan was born in Dublin, where he trained at the Royal Hibernian Academy School. His interest in the condition and improvement of Irish manufacturing was kindled by his work on the London's Great Exhibition, in 1851, where he assisted Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt and Owen Jones in the decoration of the Pompeian and Roman Courts. Later he was to return to Ireland with samples of lace, which he used to upgrade and encourage the standard of Irish lace making and to set up schools in rural areas. He was an early champion of women's causes, and the average of three titles that he exhibited annually at Dublin's RHA (from 1861 until 1906), reveal his enduring concern for the rural poor, their housing, language and education. He taught at various English art schools, including Liverpool, Yarmouth and Taunton, before becoming headmaster of the Cork School of Art from 1860 to 1869> This steady income enabled him to indulge in his real passion, genre painting, which otherwise lacked commercial appeal amongst the wealthy Irish, who were more likely to buy paintings of themselves, their horses or their houses, than depictions of their poor tenants. Brenan's fascinating legacy of genre paintings, provide unique insights into how people survived at a time when fishing families were suffering from poor catches, and farmers suffered recurrent failures of their potato crops> In recent decades a number of his paintings have come to light, and a regular habit of painting one year, and exhibiting the resulting work the following year, emerges. Titles such as Notice to Quit, Bankrupt (both lent to exhibitions in London), Patchwork and Words of Counsel (the latter two now in the Crawford Art Gallery Collection in Cork) demonstrate his skill in drawing contentious issues like eviction, under-funded education, emigration and archaic arranged marriage customs, into the public debate. He was a feminist before the term was current, and women and their children were frequently and always sympathetically featured. He opened up avenues for other painters to dare to explore subsequently; such controversial subjects were also tackled by painters such Howard Helmick, Charles Cook and Erskine Nicol> When teaching in Cork, he was within easy reach of rural areas: a fertile ground for his sympathies. Specific aspects and features of architecture and furnishings are recognisable as characteristic of west Cork, which was within reach of Cork city by horse> The most intriguing and unusual aspect of this painting is the type of timber covered bed in the background: a type which endured well into the twentieth century throughout Ireland. In poor houses with draughts and hatch that tended to be dusty and to leak, the so called canopy or camp bed was a shelter within a shelter. It had nothing to do with the fashion for tester beds that endured in the big houses, but instead was highly functional, and despite shortage of timber, enabled families to huddle together and stay warm using the heat of their bodies, in our damp climate. The open floor level turf fire caused draughts, so raising the bedding kept it dry and sheltered the sleepers, with a curtain usually draped across the open front> Brenan shows the end of one of these dominating structures, with its boarded canted roof. Others had arched roofs, or square tops, but this one matches rare surviving examples precisely, with its hipped form. The mother is kneeling to pray facing the open front of the bed, where a homemade patchwork quilt is draped, as a covering. Above her head hang fishing nets, suggesting that they live in a coastal area. Inside the open doorway, the barefoot daughter kneels at a 'carpenter's chair' of a type typical of county Cork cottages. Just enough of the slightly tattered, old, red painted dresser, is shown on the far right, for us to recognise its old dated open fronted design, with two drawers; typical of county Cork in its form. Local wheelwrights usually produced such objects, and made provision for the display of spoons in slots at eye level, which feature clearly in Brenan's oil Committee of Inspection (Crawford Art Gallery collection). By this time, the most desirable dressers had glazed tops and enclosed bases, to reduce housework. The cat, with his saucer of milk in the foreground, was worth feeding as he kept rats at bay. Such social realism with its depiction of careful frugality, lack of ostentation, and keeping of the faith encouraged sympathy for the poor. It is the only known oil painting to show one of these extraordinary beds, which now survive in museums or appear in early illustrations showing poor housing. The medical profession condemned them as ill ventilated, so encouraged their r placement with hygienic brass and iron beds. Dr Claudia Kinmonth MA (RCA) Cork February 2009

      Whyte's
    • James Brenan, RHA (1837-1907) THE PATH TO THE BURN, 1868 signed in monogram and dated lower right oil on canvas 51 by 76cm., 20 by 30in.
      Sep. 19, 2006

      James Brenan, RHA (1837-1907) THE PATH TO THE BURN, 1868 signed in monogram and dated lower right oil on canvas 51 by 76cm., 20 by 30in.

      Est: €10,000 - €15,000

      James Brenan, RHA (1837-1907) THE PATH TO THE BURN, 1868 signed in monogram and dated lower right oil on canvas 51 by 76cm., 20 by 30in. Provenance: Exhibited: RHA, Dublin, 1868, catalogue no. 174 (œ15-0-0 Literature: Notes:One of the most influential and respected painters of his day, James Brenan was born in Dublin and educated variously at the School of Art in Leinster House, the RHA School, the RDS Drawing School and in the studios of Owen Jones and Sir Matthew Digby Wyatt in London. He trained to be an art teacher and at the age of 20 became an assistant master at the Birmingham School of Art. After three years of further study and occasional teaching, he was appointed Head Master of the Cork School of Art - a position he held from 1860 to 1889. During his time there, he instituted lace-making classes throughout numerous convents in Co. Cork and was instrumental in arranging the Gibson Bequest, one of the most important acquisition funds for the Crawford Gallery. In 1889 he was made Head Master of the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art where one of his pupils was Sir William Orpen. Brenan lived the rest of his days in Rathmines, Dublin, exhibiting at the RHA up until his death.

      Whyte's
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