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Drawn to the Page



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. Here are pages four and five of the pamphlet. The verso has small cameo-like vignettes, set in arabesque swirls, depicting a stylised romantic account of couples, including John Jameson, engaging in fashionable eighteenth century Dublin life. The following page is headed with an artistic representation of generations of Irish men who are loyal to the premium Irish whiskey. Overhead the sky is punctuated with three stars, echoing the company’s three-star brand.
Snoddy (2002) and DIB online

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