Impressionist masterpiece painted in Rye up for sale

When the Boats Come In, by Walter Osborne
When the Boats Come In, by Walter Osborne

A masterpiece painted in Rye in the 19th century is up for sale.

When the Boats Come In, painted by the renowned Irish impressionist painter, Walter Osborne, leads Bonhams’ 19th century European, Victorian and British Impressionist art sale in London on Wednesday, March 1 and estimated at £100,000 to £150,000.

Osborne was born in Dublin in 1859 and studied there and in Antwerp. He spent most of the years 1884 to 1891 in England, and it was during that period he painted When the Boats Come In.

At the time he was living in Rye and the present work is closely linked stylistically and in subject matter to another work he completed there, The Ferry. These, and other mid-career pictures such as Cherry Ripe and Boats in Rye Harbour, are regarded as among Osborne’s finest. Osborne died of pneumonia in Dublin in 1903, aged only 43.

Charles O’Brien, Bonhams’ director of 19th century paintings, said: “When the Boats Come In is a wonderful example of Osborne’s English period. It has many of the details – grazing geese, fishermen and villagers at work, a basket of fish with some of them spilling onto the quay – that the artist loved to include in his paintings and which have made them so popular and sought-after at auction.”

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