Irish Life and Landscape (Classic Reprint)

Irish Life and Landscape (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Irish Life and Landscape

During the earlier part of the nineteenth century the number of noted Irish artists was very limited, and, with the exception of Barrett, o'connor, and perhaps one or two others, there were no Irish landscape painters of much importance working in this country or elsewhere. There seems to have been a blank period in Ireland so far as painting - and particularly landscape painting - was concerned. Not until the late 'seventies or early 'eighties was there any remarkable talent and such talent as there was received from the public little attention or encouragement. From the end of the last century, however, and up to the present day, not only has the number of Irish artists rapidly increased, but the standard of work is distinctly higher. During the past twenty years pictures by Irish artists have been acquired by the great Public Galleries in the British Isles and on the Continent. They are to be found in The Galerie de Luxemburg, The Tate Gallery, The Walker Art Gallery (liverpool), and also in several of the greater American and Colonial Galleries. Among the representative artists of to-day may be reckoned Sir John Lavery, Sir William Orpen, J. Festus Kelly, Paul Henry, Jack B. Yeats, Mildred Butler, W. J. Leech, o'rourke Dickey, and others. Though many of them have had to leave their native soil to find encouragement elsewhere, neverthe less, there are still leading artists at work in Ireland who confine themselves almost wholly to the study of Irish life and landscape. In Dublin during the past few years, and in spite of the troubles in Ireland since 1916 when the Royal Hibernian Academy premises were destroyed, there has been a decided increase in the number of Exhibitions, among which have been those of The Royal Hibernian Academy, The New Irish Salon, The Dublin Painters, The Dublin Sketching Club, and the Water Colour Society, not to mention those of many individual artists. Annual Exhibitions also have been held in Belfast and Cork. A representative Exhibition, comprising the works of Irish artists during the last hundred years,was held in London, at the Guildhall, in 1904. It was promoted by the late Sir Hugh Lane, through whom the City of Dublin subsequently acquired the magnificent collection of modern works of art now housed in the Municipal Art Gallery in Harcourt Street Prior to this there was no permanent collection of modern pictures in Dublin. Sir Hugh Lane in this way brought to the notice of the public Irish artists who were previously almost unknown. An excellent illustrated catalogue of the Harcourt Street Gallery was compiled at his suggestion; since this publication, Irish Art has grown and developed considerably, and new artists have arisen. Therefore, it seemed to me, that the time had come to lay before the public examples of the works of Irish artists representative of the twentieth century. They depict Irish life and scenery, and I trust that they will appeal, not only to all Art lovers, but also to those interested in Irish life and landscape. To all those artists who have contributed to this book, as well as to the owners of pictures who have so kindly lent them for reproduction, I wish to offer my very cordial thanks.

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