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George W. Russell - A Study of his life, paintings and impact on Irish culture

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MICHAEL ARRHENIUS DIT, AUNGIER STREET GEORGE W. RUSSELL � A STUDY OF HIS LIFE, PAINTINGS AND IMPACT ON IRISH CULTURE INTRODUCTION George William Russell (�), poet, painter, statesman and friend of many. George Russell definitely was all of those things. But why is it that I, a visiting student from the far North, takes such an interest in a man who despite his greatness not many people outside Ireland has heard of. When asked about visual arts in Ireland, names like Jack Yeats, Paul Henry and James Barry might be heard but only people with a deep interest in Irish culture will also mention George W. Russell, or � as he is more commonly known. But � Russell was, and still is, Irish culture, which is what I will try to prove to you with this paper. My first encounter with � Russell was when I heard about one of the greatest love stories ever heard, the Irish legend about Deirdre and Naisi. � Russell took this tale and made it into a play, the one and only play he would ever write, published in 1901 under the name "Deirdre". The mythological tales has always been a keen interest to me and to learn that � Russell wrote plays, poems and painted pictures with mythological content, sure was a true excitement for me. But to get a better understanding of what kind of man � Russell was and what he had done for Irish culture I embarked on a cultural trip around Dublin. ...read more.


82. At the same time W.B. Yeats was thinking of doing the same and subsequently they passed each other on the street in front of No. 83. However, the story goes that they both missed each other, � Russell with his head down and W.B. Yeats with his head up observing something in the sky. But in 1935, the brilliant life of George � Russell comes to an end. After being rushed back to England from the U.S. for a surgical operation on his abdomen, he dies in a nursing home in Bournemouth, England, soon after 11pm on the 17th of July. His body was then taken back to Ireland by boat and finally laid to rest in Mount Jerome Cemetery, Harold's Cross, Dublin, on the 20th of July 1935. The day after his death, the entire front-page of The Irish Times was devoted to � Russell. � Russell lived to be 68 years of age but the memory of him and his works lives on forever. GEORGE "�" RUSSELL, THE PAINTER � Russell's earliest ambition was to become a painter. Enrolled in art schools he found it to be interesting but had difficulties understanding the method of teaching. A quote from � himself best describes this: "When I was a student there (Royal Hibernian Academy) I painted from life. There were four visitors who were academicians. One visitor, Mr. ...read more.


This is particular since � Russell gave up painting all together and for a period of about 20 years didn't draw any oil paintings at all. Another important exemption from this "rule" that needs to be mentioned is the portrait of W.B. Yeats, which was drawn in chalk and inscribed and dated in 1897. But my admiration goes out to George � Russell for trying to give us a glimpse of that "other world", a world that most of us don't even think exist or some even are afraid of. But whether you believe in it or not, � Russell used his coloring techniques to show something he believed in and the result came out in beautiful works of art. My favorites are the mentioned before "Neptunes Daughters", "A Vision in the Glade" and also "Neptunes Angels". I especially like "Neptunes Daughters" which I feel has a remarkable coloring of the ocean, sky and characters, with the mystical touch taking over the "human". As of today, that favorite of mine goes for about IR� 8.500 but that in my view is a small price for such a work of excellence. It is also a part of Irish culture as it was 100 years ago; and still is..... 1. "Neptunes Daughters" (Original size: 16" x 21 ") 2. "A Vision in the Glade" (151/2" x 21") 3. "Trailing Clouds of Glory" (181/2" x 24") 4. "Neptunes Angels" (21" x 32") 5. "The Young W.B. ...read more.

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