Adam's IMPORTANT IRISH ART Auction Wednesday 24th March 2021

92 79 KATHERINE MACCAUSLAND (1859 - 1930) Serving Dinner Oil on canvas, 101.5 x 86.5cm, (40 x 34’’) Signed and dated 1890 Provenance: Sold, these rooms, Important Irish Art, 30th May 2008, lot 100, where purchased by the present owner € 25,000 - 35,000 During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the artistic schools and colonies of France enticed painters, writers and sculptors from throughout the western hemisphere, all on a quest for cultural stimulation. Among them was Katherine MacCausland, a contemporary and friend of John Lavery, Robert Louis Stevenson, John Singer Sar- gent, Frank O’Meara and many others. Moving to Paris first, MacCausland studied for a period at the Academie Julian before moving outside the city to settle at Grez-sur-Loing. Her exact date of arrival at Grez is not known but photographic evidence puts her in the colony at the same time as Robert Louis Stevenson, who left in 1883, just as John Lavery was arriving. Mac- Causland remained here for a period of years, settling into the community and buying a house. She was a fond figure and became known as ‘Miss Mac’ by the townspeople. In the mid-1890s, MacCausland moved into Brittany, stopping first in Pont-Aven before making Concarneau her final destination in 1912. She lived here until her death in 1930. By this timeline, it can be assumed that the pres- ent lot was painted in Grez-sur-Loing, however, the elderly woman serving the meal bears a striking resemblance to a well-known innkeeper from Pont-Aven. Marie-Jeanne Gloanec ran the Pension Gloanec, which was a small auberge famous amongst émigré artists. Gloanec was a proficient cook and she encouraged lively discussions and debates which fuelled artistic imaginations. Birge Harrison wrote of her ‘…dear, wizened, motherly woman. She was an excellent cook and took great pleasure in the company of her artists’. Perhaps this intimate scene was devised on a trip to Pont-Aven and pays tribute to a woman who cared for ‘her artists’ as a mother would her children. With the faces of the other figures being in shadow, the woman’s facial expression is the emotional anchor for this piece. The downturned mouth suggests a weariness that is further emphasised by the slump of her shoulders. Her exhaustion exudes throughout the painting, blurring lines and softening edges until it rests over us with the sense of tired contentment that can only be brought about by the end of a hard day’s work. The man in the background slips from the shadows, seemingly happy in his own solitude, while the children to the front appear subdued with the impending comfort of food. A skilled artist, MacCausland’s work is now all too rare, however she is rightly honoured in Grez-sur-Loing where her painting, La Mère Moreau , still hangs in the town hall. 1) Katherine sitting on the ground with her painting apron around her and a pallett on her knee, above her is Guy Maynard her close friend and Caroline Ben- dicks, Sweden’s first female sculp- tor is painting and her husband William Blair Bruce, Canada’s first impressionist artist is looking on. Belived to be taken in Grez some time in the 1880’s. 2) A masked ball at Grez. It shows Katherine dressed as a cat in a black dress and black gloves. Beside her is Robert Louis Ste- venson and Californian, Fanny Osbourne and her two children. Frank O’Meara slightly to the left above Stevenson. 1 2 Our thanks to Mary Stratton Ryan for all her research and for the use of the above photographs. CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOGRAPHS AND BIDDING