Adam's IMPORTANT IRISH ART 8th December 2021

66 45 DANIEL O’NEILL (1920-1974) Looking Westward Oil on board, 41.5 x 61.5cm (16 x 24’’) Signed Provenance: With The Waddington Galleries, mounted label verso; sale, deVere’s, Dublin. € 25,000 - 35,000 O’Neill returned many times to female subjects within west of Ireland landscapes, using a stylised and idiosyncratic format, and often placing them within deserted open spaces, sometimes stand- ing on the roadside, or as in this instance overlooking the shoreline. While it is not typical of the artist to use such an array of bright colours, the palette chosen is made up of a striking variety of tones. O’Neill uses the colour as line in the work, separating off the different sections of the com- position. From the green and purple tones of the flowers, the sandy beach leading to the clear blue of the sea dotted with patches of white to represent the light reflecting off the surface. The background is dominated by varying tones of blue, moving seamlessly from sea, to mountains to sky. O’Neill uses thick impastoed brushstrokes to capture the luscious vegetation, rendered in green and purple tones. The application of quick upright strokes creates a sense of movement in the image, we can imagine the heather and gorse bushes swaying in the wind. It is a harmonious and peaceful landscape that is somewhat unsettled by the presence of the fig- ures. We are not given much insight into who they are or who they are waiting for. The young woman positioned in the foreground looks not directly at the viewer but off to the horizon on the left. She is mirrored by a second figure who stands in profile, possibly an older woman, with a white scarf around her head and shoulders also looking out across the bay. This imagery is reminiscent of other artworks by Irish painters focused on women waiting, possibly for the return of husbands and sons, or representing the desire to leave, looking westward across the Atlantic. Niamh Corcoran, November 2021