Fifty Irish Portraits

Author Ann Stewart
Condition Second Hand - As New
Cover Type Softback

Six years after the National Gallery of Ireland was opened in 1864, the Governors and Guardians, at the suggestion of the then Director of the Gallery, Henry Doyle, decided to form a collection of Irish National Portraits. The impetus for such a collection came from a loan exhibition of national portraits which took place in Dublin in 1872 and the Gallery set about acquiring some of those pictures for the new collection. Since that time the National Gallery of Ireland has assembled a large and representative collection of portraits, which in the words of the first catalogue published in 1875, comprise not only the portraits of eminent Irishmen and Irishwomen, but also of statesmen and others who were politically or socially connected with Ireland, or whose lives serve in any way to illustrate her history, or throw light on her social or literary or artistic records . From this collection Ann Stewart has selected fifty portraits ranging from The Fair Geraldine (d.1589) who is immortalised in the poetry of the Earl of Surrey to a portrait of James Joyce painted in 1934. The people depicted in the portraits include soldiers and statesmen, poets, playwrights and patriots and some who were famous for no reason other than being beautiful. All are illustrated in colour and in the accompanying text the author describes the lives of the sitters and the circumstances of the time in which they lived.
Ann Stewart is Librarian at the National Gallery of Ireland.