on Arts & Culture
places on the planet are as crammed
with history as Ireland. Everywhere
you look there are castles, houses
and monuments, some even older
than the Pyramids. In Ireland the
past is part of the present, part
of the people and part of its vibrant
culture. The earliest Irish art
is found in carvings on megalithic
monuments dating from 2500 - 2000
BC. In early historic times, Celtic
art predominated, reaching its
peak in illuminated manuscripts
such as the Book of Durrow and
the Book of Kells. While the basic
Celtic patterns remain, European
influences such as Viking, Romanesque
and Gothic styles are seen in work
executed later than the 9th century.
The large, distinctly Irish, stone
crosses, seen across the country
date from the 9th and 10th centuries.
the mid-17th century, decorative
arts and large-scale building flourished
under the influence of contemporary
the early 19th century neo-classicism
, romanticism, and later naturalism,
were the dominant forces in painting.
They were replaced at the end of
that century by impressionism.
This was a particularly rich period
which gave us artists such as Nathaniel
Hone , Walter Osborne, John Lavery,
William Leech, John Butler Yeats
and William Orpen.
was first explored by the painters
Evie Hone and Mainie Jellett. A
forum for the new movement was
provided by the Irish Exhibition
of Living Art, founded in 1943.
From this emerged internationally
influenced artists such as Louis
Le Brocquy, Patrick Scott, Michael
Farrall, Robert Ballagh and, to
a lesser extent, Patrick Collins,
Tony O'Malley, Camille Souter and
sculpture of 19th century is best
represented by the work of John
Hogan and John Henry Foley whose
tradition lasted into the 20th
century with such sculptors as
Ois^n Kelly, Sªamas Murphy and
Hilary Heron. Contemporary sculptors
include Brian King, John Behan,
Michael Bulfin, Michael Warran
and Eilis O' Connell.
your visit to Ireland!