Our auction of Sporting Art, Wildlife and Dogs on Wednesday 2 June offers a number of captivating works by Irish artist Peter Deighan who is widely considered as one of the country’s finest Portrait and Sporting Painters.
Born in the county town of Monaghan in 1941, Deighan spent his childhood helping on his uncle’s farm and quickly developed a fascination with horses, an allure that stayed with him throughout his adult life.
At the age of 16, he moved to England and secured himself a job as a trainee welder with Vauxhall Motors, though this profession did little to scratch a creative itch. To satisfy an emerging artistic talent, Deighan began entering works for amateur art competitions and after winning a prize, he was offered a scholarship at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art in London.
With his raw talent now on display, he quickly began receiving commissions from prominent public figures, including the Duke of Bedford, comedian Eric Morecambe, and footballer Jimmy Greaves. He held his first one-man exhibition at the Duke of Bedford’s stately home, Woburn Abbey. This first exhibition was a triumphant success and enabled Deighan to become a full time artist, devoting himself to his main passion in life, painting.
He was able to combine his love of painting with his passion for horses, and established himself a reputation as one of the world's leading equestrian artists. Later, turning his attention to other interests, spending time visiting southern Africa, and consequently painting a series of celebrated wildlife studies.
Proving his versatile appeal, included amongst those who commissioned Deighan to paint their portrait are author Frederick Forsyth, jockey Lester Piggott, and English snooker star Steve Davis. He also secured the first official portrait of Prime Minister, John Major.
He has had his paintings displayed in the annual exhibitions of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Society of Equestrian Artists in London.
View the collection in our auction of Sporting Art, Wildlife and Dogs on Wednesday 2 June.
We challenged our Picture Department to imagine what it would be like to spend an evening over dinner in the company of an artist of their choice. Next up, Head of Department - Jane Oakley
A fairly unassuming playbill bought in an Epping charity shop for £5 sold for £4,750 in our auction of Fine Interiors on Wednesday 30 June after it was discovered to be a rare theatrical advertisement printed on the H.M.S Resolute during its Arctic expedition in the 1850s.