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Drawn to the Page


Title: Frontispiece

Title of artwork:
Clarke, Harry
Paper (fiber material), Ink
Photographic process
Clarke, Harry
Title of Publication:
The history of a great house
Maunsel and Roberts
Publication place:
Dublin & London
Publication date:
Curator Comment:
This publication is also known by the title Origin of John Jameson whiskey: containing some interesting observations thereon, together with the causes of its present scarcity. It was commissioned by Jameson distillers in 1924 as part of the company’s national and international marketing strategy. The publication, with text by Geoffrey Warren, was presented as a bespoke, ‘romantic’ account of the company’s heritage.
Note on artwork:
At the time of this commission, Harry Clarke enjoyed an international reputation as an illustrator. His distinctive designs draw from international Art Noveau, Art Deco and Symbolist movements. His use of colour, mesmeric patterns and elegant stylization of forms evokes an emotional and intellectual response in the viewer. The illustrations were drawn in pen and ink by Clarke and were reproduced and printed from photoengraved blocks. The publication is dominated by black and white text and imagery with the exception of a considered use of viridian green, selected by Clarke, to relieve the monochromatic designs. The frontispiece of this pamphlet, its composition and typography, is presented in a deliberately archaic style, evoking the eighteenth century, when John Jameson first came to Dublin. Depicted here is an imaginative description of the ship he arrived on into Dublin, it is borne by an ethereal mermaid, and a sea wave of vibrant viridian.
Snoddy (2002) and DIB online

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