Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Menu Search


Drawn to the Page

IRISH ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATION 1830-1930

Caption: First planting of the Potatoe [sic] in Ireland

Caption:
First planting of the Potatoe [sic] in Ireland
Artist:
Maclise, Daniel
Materials:
Paper (fiber material), Ink
Techniques:
Engraving
Author:
Mahony, Francis
Title of Publication:
The reliques of Father Prout
Publisher:
George Bell and Sons
Publication place:
London
Publication date:
1875
Curator Comment:
This is a depiction of the myth of the introduction of the potato to Ireland by Sir Walter Ralegh, on whose estate at Myrtle Grove, Youghal, Co. Cork, the vegetable, it is claimed, was first planted. This is referred to by Prout in the 'Reliques'. 'Father Prout' was the pen-name of Francis Sylvester Mahony. He worked on 'Fraser's Magazine' to which his fellow Corkonian, Maclise, also contributed. The 'Reliques' are a jeu d'esprit, being Mahony's own fertile inventions rather than the lost originals, in Latin, Greek and Old French, of modern popular poems and songs supposedly rediscovered in Father Prout's trunk.
Note on artwork:
Titlepage illustration showing in the centre a figure in Elizabethan dress, supported by lance-bearers, gesturing towards the soil as he supervises the planting of the first potatoes in Ireland. Labourers and others are grouped around, some looking up to the principal figure. In the background ruins including those of a round tower may be seen. The quality of the engraving is rather weak and indistinct.
References:
ONDB online and DIB online and Grove Art online and Strickland


We welcome feedback. If you have any further information or notice a mistake on this site, contact us

.