Ireland's Treasures
5000 Years of Artistic Expression

by Peter Harbison

A striking look at Irish artists from the ancient world to today

Ireland's Treasures offers a stunning look at the uniquely rich heritage of Irish culture expressed by artists whose creative powers and achievements have stretched from the ancient world to today. The treasures of Ireland are legendary. The physical beauty of the land itself is well documented, but reach a little further and the treasures elicited from this magical island are spectacular. From ancient portal dolmens (one of the oldest and most dramatic art forms in Ireland) to the Ardagh chalice (the finest expression of 8th century Irish metalworking); from stone towers to medieval high crosses and soaring monasteries; from The Book of Kells (the finest illuminated manuscript from Ireland's "golden age") to the elaborately carved doorway of Clonfert Cathedral (considered by many the ultimate example of Irish Romanesque art) to contemporary stained glass windows; from monumental fortresses and castles to the great houses of the 18th century; and from gold treasures (ecclesiastical and secular) to contemporary crystal, silver, and woven fabrics, the artistic endeavors of the people of Ireland — craftsmen and artists from prehistoric times onward — have been extraordinary.

In a variety of media including stonework, metalwork, handwork, architecture, and painting, Ireland's artists and craftsmen tell a provocative story of a land deeply rooted in tradition and haunted by a troubled past. With authoritative text from Dr. Peter Harbison, one of Ireland's preeminent archaelogists, we take a tour of Irish cultural history with fascinating stops at every imaginable venue. The more than 275 photographs, most in full color, and the informative and entertaining text of Ireland's Treasures: 5000 Years of Artistic Expression testify to the astonishing beauty and range of the Irish contribution to art.


10 3/3 x 14 in., 320 pages
ISBN: 0-88363-830-4
$75.00 U.S.

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