[ top ]Criticism
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W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the Classical Tradition (IAP 1976; this ed. 1984), Daniel Maclise (1806-1870), profited by presentation of 117 plaster casts of Roman models, prepared under supervision of Canova, to the Cork Society for Promoting the Fine Arts, made by the Prince Regent in 1818. [?124] Further, an etching by Maclise shows Mahoney with Maginn and other contributors to Frasers including Coleridge, Thackeray, Lockhart [the biographer of Scott], and Southey, in a convivial scene. 
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Peter Murray, Romancing the Past (2008) - Gandon Press/Crawford Gallery prospectus: Replete with authentic costume, buildings and weaponry, the paintings, drawings and illustrations of Daniel Maclise represent a brave attempt to bring to life scenes from history and literature, to transport viewers away from the commonplace realities into a world of romance and imagination. Gifted with a vivid imagination, this Cork-born artist portrayed events from medieval or Renaissance history, and depicted in extraordinary detail the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo. Apart from his History paintings and portraits of contemporaries, Maclise's canvases are, for the most part, visualisations of episodes from the works of authors, notably Shakespeare, Goldsmith and Walter Scott, but he also drew from the Decameron and works by less well-known French and Italian writers. Avoiding the chilly Classicism of Lawrence Alma-Tadema or Lord Leighton, the morbid Gothic imagination of Francis Danby and the tranquil pastoral scenes of Constable, Maclise created dramatic images that appealed both to intellectuals hoping to establish a 'national' school of painting in Britain, and also to the mainstream of popular culture. His intense interest in the medieval world anticipates the Pre-Raphaelite movement, with Holman Hunt, Waterhouse, Burne Jones and Rossetti all treating the same subject matter in paintings of the later nineteenth century. / As with a great deal of late Regency and early Victorian visual culture, the art of Daniel Maclise is both realist and escapist. He was relatively untroubled by the notion that history should strive towards objectivity, and he depicted scenes from the past as if they were on the stage of a London theatre, employing costume and setting to create narrative set pieces full of drama. His paintings are peopled with beautiful women, grotesque dwarves, fairies, kings, tyrants, wrestlers and lovers. Although escapist, they also provide a window into the psychology of the artist, who invested his work with much of his own imagination and sense of self. But beneath the surface there is often an underlying sense of unease. Maclise depicts scenes of cheerful feasting and courtly love, but hints at darker passions. His medieval pageants are full of smouldering glances and stolen kisses. Forbidden, thwarted or illicit love between men and women is a recurring motif. His characters, yearning for the unattainable, are surrounded by emblems of love and jealousy.
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Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English: The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), calls him a contrib. Frasers Magazine and illustrator of numerous novels often under pseud. Alfred Croquis; also at least one poem, the humourous Merry Xmas in the Barons Hall (Frasers, may 1838).
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Brian de Breffny, ed., Ireland: A Cultural Encyclopaedia (London: Thames & Hudson 1982), RA Schools, 1828; famous for literary, Biblical, and historical scenes, paintng fresco for Prnce Consort in 1843, and commissions for the Palace of Westminster; his style varied from Renaissance grandeur to Dutch intimacy, and his output includes a few very fine portraits; retained contact with Ireland, and his emotional Marriage of Strongbow and Eva (exhibited 1854, ill. detail, NGI, 148) shows nationalist feelings and a knowledge of ancient Irish civilisation. WJ ODriscoll, Memoir of Daniel Maclise RA (1871); Richard Ormond and John Turpin , Daniel Maclise 1806-1879, Exhibition Catalogue (1972).
Patrick Rafroidi, Irish Literature in English, The Romantic Period, 1789-1850 (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe 1980), Vol 1, reprints portraits of Thomas Moore, James Sheridan Knowles, and other illustrations by Maclise.
John Sutherland, The Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction (Longmans 1988; rep. 1989), bio-data: b. Cork, son of Scottish soldier turned shoemaker; ed. Cork, and bank clerk; a sketch of his noticed in 1825 by Sir Walter Scott; moved to London, 1827; exhib. RA, 1829; became major historical and portrait painter; influences styles of later Victorian illustrators with his contributions to Frasers Magazine, 1830-6; ill. some of Dickenss Christmas stories.
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Ann Cruikshank & the Knight of Glin [Desmond Fitzgerald], Irish Portraits 1600-1860 [Catalogue] (1969), which includes a romantic portrait of Sir Francis Sykes and family, in medieval clothing descending a turret stair [item 110], together with a Waterfall at St. Nightons, Keive, Tingtagel, Cornwall [item 111; without ill.].
Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 2, contains Mangans poem The Lovely Land from The Nation (1849), subtitled On a landscape, painted by M*****, and referring to an unspecified painting by Daniel Maclise of Cork, famous for historical paintings, especially The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife (1854); further, Maclise was interested in Irish antiquities and made a number of sketches of architectural remains, one of which may be the occasion of this poem [Seamus Deane, ed.]; the poems penultimate verse reads, Shame to me, my own, my sire-land,/Not to know they soil and skies!/Shame, that through Maclises eyes/I first see thee, IRELAND! [37-38].
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Aubrey de Vere, The Irish Celt to the Irish Norman, from Poems, cited in Lady Wilde, Ancient Legends, Mystic Charms and Superstitions of Ireland (1888), p.311, contains lines that clear reflect the mis en scene of Maclises historical painting of the marriage of Strongbow and Eva MacMurrough (NGI): Sad Eva gazed/All round that bridal field of blood, amazed;/Spoused to new fortunes ...
Mrs. S. C. Hall, Sketches of Irish Character (1829), 443pp., 61 ills., by Maclise, Gilbert, Harvey, George Cruikshank, &c. [5th edn., 1854]; 1892, &c. (See Brown, Ireland in Fiction, 1919, p.125).
Death of Nelson aboard HMS Victory is reprinted in colour in The Independent [UK] (22 October 2004), Books, p.22.
The Fraserians Thackeray, Southey, Coleridge, Crofton Croker, Carlyle and Hogg - aka the Ettridge Shepherd were memorably caputred in a drawing by [...] Daniel Maclise. (See Mary Leland, notice on Father Prout [Francis Sylvester Mahony, in Irishwomans Diary, 31 Dec. 2004, p.15.)
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