01 Painting, Streets of Paris, Harry Kernoff’s Sunday Evening – Place du Combat, Paris, with footnotes, Part 81

Harry Kernoff, R.H.A., 1900 – 1974
Sunday Evening – Place du Combat, Paris, c. 1937

Oil on board
63.5 by 94cm.; 25 by 37in.
Private collection

In the present example, rather than the more customary Dublin scene, Kernoff provides a glimpse of Paris yet with the same distinctive flair. Bathed in the last of the evening sun which casts long and playful shadows, Parisiens – from flat-capped commuters, tradesmen and the rounded and suited gentleman half appearing behind the flowing canopy – conclude their day. A well-groomed poodle adds an extra note. Meanwhile, the glass on the distinctive Parisian table invites us to join Kernoff in taking it all in. Indeed a seat here feels rather irresistible. Kernoff was a master of his craft. More on this painting

Before the liberation of Paris, the square was called the Place du Combat and was renamed in honour of the French communist resistance hero, Pierre Georges, whose nom-de-guerre was Colonel Fabien.

The headquarters of the French Communist Party, designed by the Brazilian communist and utilitarian architect Oscar Niemeyer is located here, as is a station of the Paris Métro. Nearby is the former location of the medieval Gibbet of Montfaucon, a multi-tiered gibbet that was for most of its history outside Paris’ city walls. More on Place du Combat


Harry Aaron Kernoff RHA (1900-1974) was a  portrait, landscape and decorative painter, born in London to a Russian father and Spanish mother, but relocated to Dublin when he was 14. Kernoff studied drawing and painting during night classes at the Metropolitan School of Art. In 1923, he won the Taylor Scholarship and became a full-time art student. 

Harry Kernoff was to remain in Dublin for the rest of his life. Noted above all for his genre-painting, he was one of few artists to paint the city and its people, which he did with great empathy. In addition, he painted the Irish landscape as well as numerous portraits. 

In 1926 he began showing at the Royal Hibernian Academy, averaging about five paintings in each exhibition from then until 1974 – an extraordinary achievement.

Portrait art was another of his specialities, and he completed many portraits in a single sitting. Among his many subjects were: WB Yeats, James Joyce, James Connolly, Sean O’Casey, Liam O’Flaherty, Brendan Behan, Jerome Connor and Maurice MacGonigal. More on Harry Aaron Kernof

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Author: zaidangallery

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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