Dimensions: 65.5 x 61 cm
Collection: Niland Collection
Provenance: Presented by James A Healy, 1975, (Josephine C Healy Memorial Collection)
This lithograph is based on an oil and charcoal work of the same title dating from 1929. Two other studies on the same theme, one in charcoal the other in gouache, ink and pencil, are also known. The image was probably created in response to a commission for a poster design and it appeared on an advertisement for Dublin Civic Week in September 1929.
A number of Henry’s paintings appeared on posters, of which the best known are the advertisements for railway companies including the London Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) and British Railways. In 1925 the painting “Connemara” (1923) was used in an advertisement by the LMS with the slogan Ireland This Year’ and proved to be one of the company’s best selling posters.
The urban subject matter of The Dublin Customs House makes it unusual within Henry’s oeuvre. While best known for his western landscapes, Henry did produce a few works with urban themes including views of Kilkenny, Kinsale, Westport, New Ross, Athlone and Waterford. Most of these images were executed during his 1939 tour of Ireland with the writer Sean O’Faolain, a trip which was recorded in the book An Irish Journey.
Written by Riann Coulter