Michael Angelo Hayes (1820-1877) A View of Sackville Stree...



€3,500 - €5,000


Michael Angelo Hayes (1820-1877)

A View of Sackville Street  (1854), watercolour and ink on paper, approx. 49cms high x 67cms wide (19" x 26"), heightened with gouache, framed. (1)

In 1854, Michael Angelo Hayes painted A View of Sackville Street, showing the Post Office, Nelson’s Pillar, and the palatial Mart of the Messrs. McSwiney and Co. The view shows Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street) with, on the right, the new department store ‘McSwiney, Delaney & Co’, due to open in May the following year. A business venture by George Delaney and Peter Paul McSwiney, some thirty years later it was re-named Clery & Co., but continued in business. In the mid 1860’s, when McSwiney was elected Lord Mayor of Dublin, Hayes, who was his brother-in-law, worked for him as secretary. He evidently regarded this watercolour as one of his finest and in 1888, a highly-finished watercolour entitled Sackville Street, Twenty-Five Years Ago, was shown at the Irish Exhibition in London--that painting is likely the version now in the National Gallery of Ireland. The present painting appears to be an earlier work by Hayes, and is full of the incidental detail he observed in the busy street, including a man in the foreground holding a sign, “Summer Goods - McSwiney Delaney & Co’. The pavements are crowded with people, dressed in the latest fashions, the men in top hats and the women wearing crinoline dresses. Horse-drawn omnibuses, carriages, jaunting cars and drays traverse the cobblestones. The painting is an important record of Dublin’s main thoroughfare in the mid-nineteenth century; today Nelson’s Pillar is no longer there, while Clery’s Department Store was destroyed in 1916 and rebuilt six years later. While it closed its doors in recent years, there are plans to renovate the building as offices and a hotel.

Born in Waterford in 1820, Michael Angelo Hayes was given his first lessons in art by his father Edward Hayes (1797-1864), a portrait and equestrian painter. Around 1831, the family moved to Dublin, and having begun to exhibit at the Royal Hibernian Academy, aged seventeen, Hayes went on to specialise in equestrian and military subjects. He is perhaps best known for his illustrations Car-Driving in the South of Ireland in the Year 1836 which were published as aquatint prints by Ackerman. He painted many scenes of horse racing and hunting, including The Race for the Corinthian Cup at Punchestown (1854). In 1842 he was appointed “Military Painter-in-ordinary” to the Lord Lieutenant, and painted a watercolour of troops parading at Dublin Castle. He also depicted the Yorkshire Hussars in 1840, and The Charge of the 3rd King’s Own Light Dragoons at Moodkee, an engagement in 1845 during the First Sikh War. In 1846 he painted 16th Lancers Breaking the Square at Aliwal and nine years later, The Heavy Cavalry Charge at Balaclava. Hayes’s paintings were based on direct observation and he made a detailed study of equestrian anatomy, writing a paper in 1876 entitled The Delineation of Animals in Rapid Motion. He also painted early animations, called ‘phenakistoscopes’ of people dancing. In the late 1840’s Hayes was in London, where he became an Associate Member of the New Society of Painters in Water Colour. However most of his career was spent in Dublin; he became a member of the RHA in 1854, and was elected Secretary two years later, when George Petrie was President. The two men quarrelled and over the years following the Academy’s activities were marred by bitter disputes. Many of Hayes’s works were published as engravings and lithographs, including a series illustrating the ballad “Savourneen Deelish” (his sweet love). He died in 1877, having fallen into a water tank on the roof of his house and drowned.

Dr. Peter Murray, 2023

Auction Date: 12th Dec 2023 at 10:30am

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Sale Dates:
12th Dec 2023 10:30am (Lots 1 to 479)