"Ireland's Painters: 1600 - 1940" presents a stunning survey of the grand, oft-overlooked tradition of art in Ireland. From the early, stately portraits by Thomas Frye and Susannah Drury's "East Prospect of The Giant's Causeway," to Sean O'Sullivan's intimate look inside a cottage with "The Old Couple" and the grand career of John Butler Yeats, this book offers over 350 color illustrations of great Irish art. "Well over twenty years has elapsed since the publication of 'The Painters of Ireland in 1978'," the authors write. "And since then a great deal of new material has been published by colleagues and students... As a result we felt we should pool these resources and our own work into one volume and seek out more and often unknown illustrative material." Authors Anne Crookshank (Fellow emerita, formerly professor of the history of art at Trinity College Dublin) and The Knight of Glin (president of the Irish Georgian Society, and Christie's representative in Ireland) offer informative, accessible prose, to go along with the gorgeous illustrations. Chapters cover topics such as "Ireland's Restoration Period" and "The Influence of Continental Europe and England in the Late Nineteenth Century," and include fine biographical sketches of major figures. But it's not all intense art history - as shown by the downright naughty 18th-century portraits by William Jones, which include half-clothed girls in "The Fortune Teller," and the self-explanatory "Girl Showing Her Bottom." ($60 / 352 pages / Yale University Press)
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