Drogheda Municipal Art Collection

Horse-Fair in Co. Tipperary

Sylvia Cooke-Collis

b. 1900 - d. 1973
Oil on canvas

Horses and fairs were common in Ireland until the 1950's and were among Sylvia Cook-Collis' favourite subjects to paint. Horse Fair in Co. Tipperary is a fine example of her approach to painting such a scene. The viewer is looking down on a busy fair day, set in a town square, with trees giving welcome shelter and providing tethering posts. Some horses are unsaddled and feeding; others are being scrutinised by potential buyers; while others are being groomed by their owners. The composition is dramatic, with natural colours heightened by the use of a contrasting range of blues and greys, set against the warmer siennas and ochres. The outlining of the figures and horses in black and the decorative form of the composition are reminiscent of Raoul Dufy, but without his bright Fauvist colours.

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