Painting Dublin, 1886-1949

Visualising a changing city

By Kathryn Milligan

Painting Dublin, 1886-1949


  • Hardcover
  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-6118-5
  • Pages: 240
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £25.00
  • Published Date: October 2021
  • BIC Category: Ireland, The arts / Man-made objects depicted in art (cityscapes, machines, etc), The arts / History of art & design styles: from c 1900 -, Art History, HISTORY / Europe / Ireland, ART / Criticism & Theory, ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)


Delving into a hitherto unexplored aspect of Irish art history, Painting Dublin, 1886-1949 examines the depiction of Dublin by artists from the late-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Artists' representations of the city have long been markers of civic pride and identity, yet in Ireland such artworks have been overlooked in favour of the rural and pastoral. Framed by the shift from city of empire to capital of an independent republic, this book examines artworks by Walter Osborne, Rose Barton, Jack B. Yeats, Harry Kernoff, Estella Solomons and Flora Mitchell, encompassing a variety of urban views and artistic themes. While Dublin is already renowned for its representation in literature, this book will demonstrate the many attractions it held for Ireland's artists, offering a vivid visualisation of the city's streets and inhabitants at a crucial time in its history.


'A rich - and enriching - volume, informed by an obvious love of the city.'
Sunday Times Culture

At heart an academic text ... Painting Dublin is also a good read due to Milligan's engaging style and passion for her subject.'
Irish Times

'With over a hundred illustrations (59 figures and 45 color plates) the volume is a visual treat. Extensive endnotes reveal the research behind the book and the index includes useful thematic entries. [...] Painting Dublin combines a wonderful art exhibition and a stimulating walking tour through multiple Dublins past and
present. You may never walk down the same streets again.'
Irish Literary Supplement, Ciarán Wallace

'From chapter two on, you reach pages that are undeniably full of interest and zest, revelaing warmth for, and even enjoyment in, the works the author analyses.'
Irish Arts Review, Hilary Pyle

'This lucid book moves beyond conventioanl Irish art history and representations of Dublin [...] Painting Dublin challenges us to relect on a more open, interpretative and alternative understanding of how Irish visual identity was shaped.'
History Ireland, Sylvie Kleinman

'Painting Dublin is a valuable and refreshing addition to the literature on the city and to Irish art history. It uncovers fascinating insights into the relationship of visual artists to their maligned but much-loved metropolis.'
Museum Ireland, Róisín Kennedy


Introduction: Painting Dublin, from Empire to Republic, 1886-1949
1 Poverty, parks and painting
2 Fog, gas and the picturesque
3 Dockers, swimmers and dancers
4 Radicals, workers and drinkers
5 Glamourous, old and vanishing Dublin


Kathryn Milligan is an art historian specialising in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Irish art

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