Auction Preview: deVeres 21 November 2017

De Veres Irish Art auction on 21 November will include Fields in Arles an attractive painting by Camille Souter. It was originally bought by Sir Basil Goulding (confirmed by a label verso) who was a significant figure in the development of her career. His early faith in her work was influential in building her reputation and in enabling her to make a living. ‘He was a lovely man’ she recalled with feeling when I mentioned his name in conversation a few years ago. She remembered his first visit to her studio in the gate lodge of Charleville House in Enniskerry in the early 1960s. He ‘humbly’ scrutinised the work and ended up buying ‘quite a few’ pieces. As he was writing the cheque, she was so broke that she asked ‘do you think I could have ten shillings of it in money’. More significantly he ensured through his art world connections that her work was bought by institutions such as the Hugh Lane Gallery and later by the Arts Council and Trinity College Dublin. Those early works all went for a guinea. Fields in Arles was painted in 1963 shortly after she moved to Calary in Wicklow where she spent a settled and contented period before the premature death of her husband Frank Morris. Despite her well-documented penury she managed to travel a fair bit and there are a number of her works that reference Italy especially and occasionally France. Garrett Cormican’s superb biography and catalogue of her work lists this work as first shown in her ‘Two Painters’ exhibition in 1965. The homage to Van Gogh is implicit in this gloriously shimmering painting. The golden light suggests the corn and sunflowers of summer in Provence. An ideal painting to light up a winter’s evening in Ireland. The guide price is €20,000 to €25,000.