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  • In his memoirs the Irish actor John O’Keefe recalled that his friend Healy “excelled at drawing in chalks, portraits, etc., but his chief forte was horses which he delineated so admirably that he got plenty of employment from those who had hunters, mares, or Ladies palfreys” (O'Keefe, 1826, vol. 1, p. 28). The only known evidence of Healy’s work in this genre, however, is a remarkable series of eight drawings made for the Conollys of Castletown in the late 1760s. Castletown, in County Kildare, was built in the 1720s by the wealthy Whig politician William Conolly. At his death in 1729 the Palladian mansion was still unfinished but, when his great-nephew Tom and his wife, Louisa, settled on the estate in 1759, they undertook an extensive program of renovations. Castletown was renowned for its informal hospitality, and in 1768–69 Healy chronicled the traditional recreations of hunting, shooting, and skating enjoyed by the Anglo-Irish aristocracy. The centerpiece of the series is this work, which Paul Mellon purchased when the drawings were sold in 1983 and bequeathed to the Center. Made on two sheets of paper, this ambitious and refined drawing, with its friezelike composition and attenuated forms, has close affinities with the work of George Stubbs. Louisa Conolly’s brother, Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, was an important early patron of Stubbs, and Healy may have visited Richmond’s collection at Goodwood House. In any case, he probably would have known Stubbs’s engravings, which he might have seen in Louisa Conolly's print room at Castletown.
?:PX_curatorial_comment
  • In his memoirs the Irish actor John O’Keefe recalled that his friend Healy “excelled at drawing in chalks, portraits, etc., but his chief forte was horses which he delineated so admirably that he got plenty of employment from those who had hunters, mares, or Ladies palfreys” (O'Keefe, 1826, vol. 1, p. 28). The only known evidence of Healy’s work in this genre, however, is a remarkable series of eight drawings made for the Conollys of Castletown in the late 1760s. Castletown, in County Kildare, was built in the 1720s by the wealthy Whig politician William Conolly. At his death in 1729 the Palladian mansion was still unfinished but, when his great-nephew Tom and his wife, Louisa, settled on the estate in 1759, they undertook an extensive program of renovations. Castletown was renowned for its informal hospitality, and in 1768–69 Healy chronicled the traditional recreations of hunting, shooting, and skating enjoyed by the Anglo-Irish aristocracy. The centerpiece of the series is this work, which Paul Mellon purchased when the drawings were sold in 1983 and bequeathed to the Center. Made on two sheets of paper, this ambitious and refined drawing, with its friezelike composition and attenuated forms, has close affinities with the work of George Stubbs. Louisa Conolly’s brother, Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, was an important early patron of Stubbs, and Healy may have visited Richmond’s collection at Goodwood House. In any case, he probably would have known Stubbs’s engravings, which he might have seen in Louisa Conolly's print room at Castletown.
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  • Bibliograpic reference ::
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Ireland : crossroads of art and design, 1690-1840, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 2015, pp. 36-37, 149, 229, no. 56, color detail and fig. 4 (p/ 149), N6787 .I74 2015 OVERSIZE (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: John Baskett, Paul Mellon's legacy, a passion for British art : masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 265, no. 50, pl. 50, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: John Mulcahy, Lost to Castletown, Irish Arts Review, vol. 29, no. 2, Summer (June - August) 2012, pp. 99, 101-03, fig. 1, Available on line : JStor Ireland Collection (ORBIS)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: The Provost's House Stables, building & environs, Trinity College Dublin., Associated Editions, Dublin, 2008, p. 48, fig. 21, NA6700 D8 P7 2008 (YCBA)
  • Dimension depth :: 8.1cm
  • Dimension height :: 51.4cm
  • Dimension height :: 66.2cm
  • Dimension width :: 135.9cm
  • Dimension width :: 150.2cm
  • Exhibition :: An American's Passion for British Art - Paul Mellon's Legacy
  • Exhibition :: Ireland - Art on a World Stage 1690-1840
  • Exhibition :: Paul Mellon's Legacy : A Passion for British Art
  • Exhibition :: The Line of Beauty : British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century
  • Located in :: New Haven
  • Located in :: Not on view
  • Located in :: YCBA, 221, Screen, 7
  • Located in :: Yale Center for British Art
  • Object type :: drawing
  • Subject Concept :: dogs (animals)
  • Subject Concept :: horses (animals)
  • Subject Concept :: hunting
  • Subject Concept :: portrait
  • Subject Concept :: sporting art
  • Subject Place :: Castletown
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  • ...
?:PX_has_credit_line
  • Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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?:label
  • Tom Conolly of Castletown Hunting with His Friends
?:type