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Drawn to the Page

IRISH ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATION 1830-1930

Caption: Saint Patrick approaching the great pagans.

Caption:
Saint Patrick approaching the great pagans.
Artist:
Yeats, John Butler
Materials:
Paper (fiber material), Ink
Techniques:
Lithographic Reproduction
Engraver:
Photographic process
Author:
O'Grady, Standish
Title of Publication:
Finn and his companions
Publisher:
T. Fisher Unwin
Publication place:
London
Publication date:
1892
Curator Comment:
The episode depicted occurs at the beginning of the story when St Patrick and his monks, who are about to build a little wooden church 'at a place near the river Boyne, westward from Tara', are approached by giant, but noble and majestic, pagan warriors who are soon baptised. This illustration comes from the first edition of this book. A later edition (1921) was illustrated by Patrick Tuohy (qv). The image was photographically reproduced after a watercolour drawing by Yeats - the soft washes and tones are captured expertly by the lithographic process - the publisher of the lithograph Gillard(?) has signed the image lower right.
Note on artwork:
The diminutive figure of Saint Patrick, various monks behind him, approaches a dominating, imperious and heavily armed pagan warrior and his comrades. The contrast in body language and scale of the figures suggests their unequal status.
References:
Snoddy, DIB online


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