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Yeats and Lavery paintings expected to fetch up to £1m

Published 17/11/2015

Jack Butler Yeats painting The Boat Builder is part of the Christie's Modern British & Irish Art sale on November 25 and 26 (Christie's/PA)
Jack Butler Yeats painting The Boat Builder is part of the Christie's Modern British & Irish Art sale on November 25 and 26 (Christie's/PA)

Two major works by Irish painters Jack B Yeats and Sir John Lavery are expected to fetch up to £1 million (1.4 million euro) at a sale next week.

Belfast-born Lavery's "masterpiece" entitled The Maid Was In The Garden Hanging Out The Clothes will go under the hammer for between £300,000 and £500,000 (430,000 euro and 710,000 euro), auctioneer Christie's predicts.

Painted in the style which he had gone to Paris to study at the end of 1881, the oil on canvas signals the then young painter's growing awareness of Impressionism.

At the same sale, Yeats's The Boat Builder also comes with a guide price between £300,000 and £500,000.

It was one of a series of 12 paintings commissioned in 1913 to illustrate a popular book, Irishmen All, about professions in rural Ireland at the time.

This work was once owned by British ornithologist, naval officer and painter Sir Peter Scott.

Both paintings go under the hammer at Christie's Modern British and Irish Art sale at its London saleroom on November 25 and 26.

Works by Lavery and Yeats have reached record prices in recent years.

An anonymous buyer paid 1.3 million US dollars (1.03 million euro/£722,453) for Lavery's The Green Sofa, an oil-on-canvas measuring 25in (63.5cm) by 36in (91.5cm), at a Sotheby's art auction in New York in 2012.

The previous year, Yeats's A Fair Day, Mayo, painted in 1925, sold for one million euro (£701,411) in Dublin.

It was the highest price ever paid at auction for a work of art in Ireland.

Other notable Irish works at the upcoming Christie's sale include paintings by Paul Henry, Roderic O'Conor and Louis le Brocquy.

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