Art and Architecture of Ireland
The volume is divided into two sections. The first contains thematic essays, ranging widely from exhibiting practices to the social history of Irish art, revealing how pictures were produced, acquired and traded in Ireland. The varied texts reflect the decision to be inclusive in determining ‘Irishness’ - the volume considers painters born in Ireland who spent their careers abroad, as well as visiting artists to Ireland. The second section is devoted to biographical entries, largely based on W.G. Strickland’s biographies of artists (Dublin and London, 1913), but updated to include extensive recent research. More than 300 entries provide information on Irish painters of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a critical period that saw the development of easel painting, patronage, the exploration of antiquarianism and a search for the pictorial expression of national identity. The biographies offer a rich compendium of Irish experience; while some of the artists lived with worldly success and fame, others suffered disappointment and failure. All the entries are based on original research, much of it undertaken in hitherto unexplored archives. It seems appropriate given Ireland’s economic, political and social history, that the story told by this volume is one of exodus, exchange and international endeavour.
Paul Mellon Centre, 9780300179200, 600pp.
Publication Date: December 16, 2014
About the Author
Nicola Figgis is a lecturer at the School of Art History and Cultural Policy, University College, Dublin, specialising in 17th–19th-century Irish painting and aspects of the Grand Tour. She is co-author, with Brendan Rooney, of Irish Paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland, volume i (2002).