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Cover for Ireland and the Picturesque

Ireland and the Picturesque

Design, Landscape Painting, and Tourism, 1700–1840

Finola O'Kane


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That Ireland is picturesque is a well-worn cliché, but little is understood of how this perception was created, painted, and manipulated during the long 18th century. This book positions Ireland at the core of the picturesque's development and argues for a far greater degree of Irish influence on the course of European landscape theory and design. Positioned off-axis from the greater force-field, and off-shore from mainland Europe and America, where better to cultivate the oblique perspective? This book charts the creation of picturesque Ireland, while exploring in detail the role and reach of landscape painting in the planning, publishing, landscaping and design of Ireland's historic landscapes, towns, and tourist routes. Thus it is also a history of the physical shaping of Ireland as a tourist destination, one of the earliest, most calculated, and most successful in the world.

Praise For Ireland and the Picturesque: Design, Landscape Painting, and Tourism, 1700–1840

“The two-way flow of picturesque inspiration across the Irish Sea was a complex cultural phenomenon that this study brilliantly illuminates.”—William Laffan, World of Interiors
— William Laffan

Winner of the 2015 John Brinckerhoff Jackson Book Prize sponsored by the Foundation for Landscape Studies.
— John Brinckerhoff Jackson

Won Honorable Mention for the  2016 Elisabeth Blair MacDougal Award sponsored by the Society of Architectural Historians.
— Elisabeth Blair MacDougall Award

Paul Mellon Centre, 9780300185386, 240pp.

Publication Date: August 20, 2013

About the Author

Finola O’Kane is lecturer in the School of Architecture, Landscape and Civil Engineering, University College Dublin.