"Starting with a discussion of what makes a portrait particular to one country or region, Fintan Cullen explores the contradictions within existing definitions of national art. Politics, geography, religion, commerce, class, gender and the affiliations of artists and sitters all play a part in how we read and respond to portraiture. But the history of Ireland and the experience of the Irish diaspora present the need for a redefinition of Irish portraiture." The Irish Face includes chapters on the production of portraiture both in and about Ireland, defining the national portrait, the political portrait, the autobiographical portrait and the relationship between portraiture and success. Featuring over 150 illustrations of key figures such as Jonathan Swift, Charles Stewart Parnell and Seamus Heaney as well as Bono and Mary Robinson, this ambitious study by Fintan Cullen brings a refreshing and important perspective to our understanding of art, history and national culture.
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