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A Concise History of Irish Art

Bruce Arnold

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A concise and coherent survey of Irish art over three millennia


Irish art of the early Christian era is justly celebrated. So, too, are the individual contributions of artists such as Jack B. Yeats. What is perhaps less widely accepted is the existence of a continuing and developing tradition of Irish art from the earliest times to the present day.

Bruce Arnold traces the complex evolution of Irish art through three millennia, showing how it has drawn on Celtic, AngloSaxon, Norman, Mediterranean and other diverse sources.

As the story unfolds, Arnold repatriates Irish artists who are frequently regarded as 'English' – including William Mulready, Daniel Maclise and James Barry – and shows how Irish painting and sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, metalwork and architecture together form a rich and distinctive cultural heritage.

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'Fulfils a unique role by presenting us with so thorough a discourse and so rewarding a view of this most neglected but most important aspect of our culture'
The Irish Press

'Mr Arnold's enthusiasm pleasantly reminds the stranger in Ireland that there is more to be seen than the natural beauty of the tourist advertisements, and his scholarship should prove a more stimulating companion than many a conventional guide'
William Trevor

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Edition Type: Revised Edition

Size: 20.8 x 14.6 cm

Extent: 180 pp

Illustrations: 179

Publication date: 13 June 1977

ISBN: 9780500201480

About the Author

Bruce Arnold is a literary and art critic who has worked for the main Irish newspapers: The Irish Times, The Irish Press and the Sunday Independent. He was also the Dublin correspondent of the Guardian. He has edited Hibernia and The Dublin Magazine (formerly The Dubliner).