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.