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Drawn to the Page

IRISH ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATION 1830-1930

Caption:

Artist:
Clarke, Harry
Materials:
Paper (fiber material), Ink
Techniques:
Photoengraving
Engraver:
Photographic process
Author:
Clarke, Harry
Title of Publication:
The history of a great house
Publisher:
Maunsel and Roberts
Publication place:
Dublin & London
Publication date:
1926
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. Pages six and seven continue to evoke a glamourized version of eighteenth century Ireland. On page six, Georgian dandies and ladies stand before Edward Lovett Pearce’s Irish Houses of Parliament, the text referring to the product's creation at the time of Grattan’s parliament. Clarke employs cameo devices throughout the publication; portraits of graceful stylish figures are framed and hang in a night sky with three stars, the companies brand mark. Throughout the volume, the text and images strives to convey the importance placed on the company’s heritage.
References:
Snoddy (2002) and DIB online


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