Guest Author - Mary Ellen Sweeney
Irish art is not limited to the glorious inscriptions of the "Book of Kells." There have been many illustrious Irish artists, among them Sir Frederick Burton, who painted one of my favorites, a medevial romantic painting, sensual yet innocent, titled "The Meeting on the Turret Stairs."
Meeting on the Turret Stairs
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Though many of the Irish artists with famous names like Yeats and and Burke chose to immortalize Irish country life, there is a school that attends to more cosmopolitan themes. Surely the works of Sir John Lavery like "Spring," presents a lady of society the equal to any of her time. Sarah Henrietta Purser's portrait of the famous Miss Maude Gonne holding her little monkey is proof of an aspect of Irish life that many may think did not exist in the past.
In the paintings of Irish artists of days gone by resides proof that in Ireland there has always been high society, culture, and gentility. Though the country scenes reflect the dignity and nobility of fisherman, farmer, and country wife, do not judge all of Ireland by these scenes alone. As ever, there's more, if you have the eye to see it.