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In the Lion's Den : Daniel Macdonald, Ireland and Empire (Paperback) (Niamh Ou2019sullivan)
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In 1847, in the British Institution, there hung a harrowing painting ‘An Irish Peasant Family Discovering the Blight of their Store’, the first and the last known contemporaneous painting of the Great Irish Famine. The painter was Daniel Macdonald (1820-1853), a young Irish artist recently arrived in London. Niamh O’Sullivan’s fascinating book reveals compelling new subtexts to the work of Macdonald and re-establishes him as a painter of national importance; it also sheds original light on the social and visual culture of Ireland in the years leading up to and including the Famine. Themes rarely visited by Irish artists – rural agitation, superstition and folklore, as well as aspects of the national character – were given spirited treatment by Macdonald who insinuated such subject matter in to the salons of metropolitan London, to venues distinctly hostile to Irish poverty, hunger and violence. Simultaneously courted by the aristocracy and loyal to his roots in Cork, his responses to the conditions in which he grew up are part of how he became an artist of distinction. This story has not been told before. Macdonald is the subject of an exhibition in Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum (January 20 through April 17, 2016), and is undergoing a major re-evaluation as an artist. This critical biography is essential reading for anyone interested in Irish art and history.
Number of Pages: 152
Sub-Genre: History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945), European
Publisher: Stylus Pub Llc
Author: Niamh Ou2019sullivan
Street Date: February 26, 2016
Item Number (DPCI): 248-15-1018
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