In The Mournes at Annalong, County Down

Maurice Canning Wilks

Northern Irish ( b.1910 - d.1984 )

In The Mournes at Annalong, County Down

  • Oil on canvas
  • Signed lower left

Image size 15.6 inches x 19.3 inches ( 39cm x 49cm )
Frame size 20.9 inches x 24.8 inches ( 53cm x 63cm )

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Sold by Big Sky Fine Art; this original oil painting by Maurice Canning Wilks.
The painting is presented and supplied in its’ original frame.
Previously with F.G.Davis & Sons Ltd, North St. Arcade, Belfast.

Maurice Canning Wilks was a landscape and portrait painter, well known and much admired in Irish art circles.

He was born in Belfast on 25th November 1910 and educated there at the Malone Public School. He began to study art at night classes at the Belfast School of Art, then won the Dunville Scholarship which enabled him to study full time.

After College Wilks resided in Cushenden, in the Glens of Antrim. He sketched and painted all over Ireland, but he especially liked the atmosphere and Donegal and the west of Ireland.

Wilks had early success showing his work at the Royal Hibernian Academy, where he later became an associate member. He also showed at the Victor Waddington Galleries in Dublin, and later at The Malone Gallery, Belfast, The Bell Gallery, Belfast and at the Oriel Gallery, Dublin.

He also had works exhibited at the Royal Ulster Academy, of which he was a member. The Irish Times critic of the time discerned “a fine romantic spirit and considerable feeling” in his works.

He also exhibited widely in North America and at the Royal Academy in London.

In later years he maintained a summer studio at Sutton, County Dublin, where he painted many scenes of the area including Dublin Bay.

Wilks was a modest man, whose recipe for success was “hard work and regular hours” and he took no part in art politics. He died at his home in Belfast on 1st February 1984 and the Oriel Gallery, Dublin held a memorial retrospective of his work the same year.

His works are in public collections throughout the world, including the Ulster Museum, Armagh County Museum, the Ulster Folk and Transportation Museum, the Office of Public Works in Dublin and the Limerick City Art Gallery.

This original painting depicts a row of rural cottages in Annalong, a seaside village in County Down, Northern Ireland. The cottages look snug and inviting, with whitewashed wall, thatched roofs and a chimney. One has a red door that is particularly striking. In front of the cottages is a traditional stone wall, an unpaved track and lush green fields. In the background are the Mourne Mountains, a granite range which includes the highest mountains in Northern Ireland. Above are billowing grey and white clouds.