Creating History: Stories of Ireland in Art, by Brendan Rooney
Upon leaving the National Gallery in Dublin during Easter week 1916, its registrar James Stephens was struck by 'the rumour of death and war' that gripped the air. One hundred years on, the National Gallery commemorated these seismic historical events with a powerful new exhibition and stunning book, Creating History: Stories of Ireland in Art.
The National Gallery's exhibition comprises 54 paintings spanning the 17th century to the 1930s, depicting or inspired by episodes in Irish history from the arrival of St. Patrick to the establishment of the Free State.
Jan Wyck, James Wheatley, John Lavery, Sean Keating, William Orpen and Jack B. Yeats are some of the major artists represented. Their masterworks are here lavishly reproduced to stunning effect alongside essays from art critics, Tom Dunne, Ruth Kenny, Roisin Kennedy and others, delivering fascinating assessments that situate the Easter Rising and Ireland's claim to independence through the historical significance and artistic value of Ireland's major artistic works.