The Irish Fair

George Bellows (1882 – 1925)

  • Artist
    George Bellows
  • Title
    The Irish Fair
  • Date
    1923
  • Dimensions
    54 × 50cm
  • Medium
    Lithograph
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented by James A Healy, 1975, (Josephine C Healy Memorial Collection)
Description

This lithograph, by the celebrated American artist George Bellows, belonged to the New York stock broker, James A. Healy. Bellows was part of ‘Ash Can School’ who recorded everyday life among New York’s working class in sympathetic and often gritty detail. The Irish Fair was one of a series of illustrations that he created for “The Wind Bloweth”, a novel by Donne Byrne set in nineteenth-century Ireland. Although this series included works such as “Irish Grandmother” and “Old Irish Woman” there is no evidence to suggest that Bellows ever visited Ireland. He did, however, know John B. Yeats who spent his final years in New York.

Bellows may have based this image on an Irish fair in New York. The ancestors of contemporary St. Patrick’s Day parades, such fairs were an opportunity for Irish emigrants to celebrate the culture that they had left behind. Inevitably, these events focused on romantic notions of Ireland and located the essence of Irishness in the west.

The presence of pumpkins in the foreground further confirms an American setting and it has also been suggested that the model for the central figure, holding a raised cane, was the Ash Can artist Robert Henri (1).

1. Lauris Mason & Joan Ludman, The Lithographs of George Bellows: A Catalogue Raisonne, New York, 1977, p.153.

Written by Riann Coulter

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  1. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  4. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  6. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  9. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  13. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  14. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  19. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  20. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  21. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  23. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  24. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn