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Market Woman

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Market Women
Irish School
Oil on canvas
69 x 50.5cm

Portrait of a young woman carrying a wicker basket of vegetables on her back. Although Realist in treatment, there is little sense of the toil and sweat of a busy market stall. Charde invested his depiction with a gentleness and charm. The humanity of the woman is to the fore, rather than the fact that she is burdened with a pannier.

Hugh C. Charde
Irish School

Hugh Charde was born in Cork. He was a student in Cork and then went to Antwerp in c.1883-84 to study at the Academie Royale des Beaux Arts. He lived at 37 Rampart St. Catherine in Antwerp in 1883 and at 15 Rue de Fagot in 1884, and both years sent pictures to the R.D.S. He may then have gone to Paris to study. His Market Women 1886 (Crawford Gallery) is a characteristic 'plein-air' scene of the period, in the manner of Osborne and other contemporaries. He had returned to Cork by 1886 and was living at 47 Grand Parade. That year he first exhibited (a portrait) at the RHA. He didn't show again until 1900, when he exhibited Feeding Time (Crawford Gallery). He continued to show work regularly at the RHA from 1900 until 1938. He was living at 52 Grand Parade. He became Second Master of the School of Art in Cork, and then Head Master until 1937. The story is told of the Crawford Gallery during the Troubles of 1922 and a curfew on a Winter night:-

"Two men are in the middle of preparing the Sculpture Gallery for the Munster Fine Art exhibition, the two being Hugh C. Charde, headmaster of the school, and T.J. O'Leary, secretary of the Society at that time. In spite of their protestations they found themselves in an army lorry en route to occupied Collins' Barracks where Mr. Charde spent the night. His companion was released with a warning and it was hinted to him that the school was under surveillance following reports, not without foundation, of "unlawful" meetings taking place there."           
(Exhibition catalogue, Munster Fine Arts Society, Dec. 1986.)

Charde was primarily a landscapist, painting many views in Cork and Kerry, for example of Kinsale Harbour and the Old Head, Inchigeela, Doonisky and Glenbeigh and on Kenmare River and at Dingle. He favoured scenes of beach, river and estuary, with titles such as Low Tide, A Grey Day and A Calm Evening.

Ref: The Irish Impressionists National Gallery of Ireland. Catalogue by Julian Campbell
Information given by Tadg Lehane