26 16 WILLIAM JOHN LEECH RHA (1881-1938) Grey Bridge, Regent’s Park Oil on canvas, 77 x 97cm (30¼ x 38¼’’) Signed Provenance: With The Dawson Gallery, Dublin where purchased by Mr James J. Stafford. Later with the Godolphin Gallery, Dublin July 1979 where purchased by Mr & Mrs Roth and thence from the estate of William Roth. Their sale, these rooms 1/10/2014, lot 99. Private Collection. Exhibited: Dublin, The Royal Hibernian Academy Annual Exhibition 1959 Catalogue No. 16 € 20,000 - 30,000 Leech’s Regents Park series was one of his longest comprising over twenty known works and stretching in time from 1935 over the following 25 years. The location was one the artist returned to many times when he could not travel to France. Just a short walk downhill from his studio at Steele’s Studios Leech found subject matter he could sketch plein air and then work up into exhibition pieces back at the studio. In fact a nearly identical but much smaller work to this from the McClelland Collection had been exhibited a year earlier at the RHA and was included in the Leech retrospective An Irish Painter Abroad in The National Gallery of Ireland in 1997. Writing about that work in the catalogue Denise Ferran writes :-’ Grey Bridge, Regents Park is painted in a silverly light with York Bridge, a high horizon - band of subdued umber tones, merging into the soft blue-grey tones of the background. In the foreground, the river reflects the cool grey of a winter sky which mingles with the muddy browns and greens of the still water. All the edges of objects, solid or reflected, are blurred and softened; the top of the bridge is masked by the over- hanging grey- green leaves of a weeping willow.’ We acknowledge Dr. Denise Ferran whose writings on Leech formed the basis of this catalogue entry.