Jack B Yeats paintings net £415,300 at auction

A Horseman Enters a Town at Night A Horseman Enters a Town at Night will be auctioned in London next week. Photo courtesy of Christie's Images.

A Jack B Yeats painting which once belonged to the novelist Graham Greene has sold for £349,250 at auction.

"A Horseman Enters a Town at Night" was painted by the artist at the age of 77 in 1948.

It was bought by Greene for his Paris apartment 60 years ago. It had never been put on public display before.

Jack B Yeats is the brother of the Nobel Laureate poet WB Yeats and won acclaim in his own right as one of the most significant Irish artists of the 20th century.

A Horseman Enters a Town at Night

A weary traveller, slumped on his steed, walks through an empty street perhaps in search of an inn or somewhere to rest up before continuing his journey in the morning.

The horse which symbolised loyalty, intelligence and freedom to Yeats, carries the rider, its head turned slightly, possibly being drawn to a noise or a light showing they are not alone on their journey.

Even very late at night, there is still life behind the wall of the deserted streets.

Source: Christie's Lot Notes.

Many of his works feature images of horses.

A smaller painting, entitled Man in a Room Thinking was painted in the previous year. It sold for £66,050 - above its pre-sale estimate of £30,000 to £50,000.

This painting, which measures 8in by 13in, has been displayed once in public - when Greene lent it to an exhibition in London in 1963.

In 1948, there was a large exhibition of Yeats' work at the Tate Gallery in London where he finally achieved international recognition.

The highest price paid for a Yeats painting was in 1999 when Sotheby's in London sold The Wild Ones for more than £1.2m.

Greene died at his home in Switzerland in 1991. It is understood the paintings were sold by his relations.

The sale at Christie's in London on 11 November also featured works by other Irish artists including Sir William Orpen, Sir John Lavery, Sean Scully and Markey Robinson.

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