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Drawn to the Page

IRISH ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATION 1830-1930

Caption:

Artist:
O'Sullivan, Seán
Materials:
Paper (fiber material), Ink
Techniques:
Photoengraving
Engraver:
Photographic process
Author:
Hobson, Bulmer
Title of Publication:
Saorstát Eireann - Irish Free State handbook
Publisher:
Talbot Press
Publication place:
Dublin
Publication date:
1932
Curator Comment:
‘Saorstát Eireann: Irish Free State official handbook’ offers a fascinating historical insight into the early period of Irish independence. Edited by Bulmer Hobson (1883–1969) the volume contains essays on all aspects of Irish society, from economic to archaeology, from agriculture to the fine arts. Moreover, it is an excellent example of Irish book design and production, the typographical device proudly stating ‘Déanta i nÉirinn’ (made in Ireland). The illustrations, both full-page plates and chapter heads, are stylishly printed in black over yellow-tinted paper emulating both early manuscripts and hand-printed woodcut illustrated volumes. The book also features photographic reproductions after artworks by leading Irish artists of the day including Paul Henry, Sean [John] Keating and Estella Solomons.
Note on artwork:
The essay for the ‘Handbook’ by, the then, Dublin City Librarian, Roisin Walsh, gives an historical and contemporary account of Ireland’ significant library collections. The essay’s title page is decorated with pen and ink drawings by Sean O’Sullivan of, the now so called, Old Library in Trinity College and the entrance gate to Marsh’s Library, near St Patrick’s Cathedral. Thomas Burgh’s design of 1712 for TCD is depicted as an imposing edifice, yet its stern historical presence is somewhat moderated by O’Sullivan’s inclusion of a motor car in the college square.
References:
Snoddy (2002) and DIB online


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