Irish Painter, 1806-1870
Irish painter, active in England. He grew up in Cork where his father had set up as a shoemaker after discharge from the British army. In 1822 Maclise went to the Cork Institute where he began to draw from the newly arrived collection of casts made after the antique sculpture in the Vatican, laying the foundation of the strong draughtsmanship that characterizes his mature work. Richard Sainthill, antiquary and connoisseur, encouraged Maclise and introduced him to local literary and artistic circles, which were influenced by the Romantic movement and interested in Irish antiquities and oral traditions. Maclise was a central figure in this early phase of the Irish revival, and maintained an interest in Irish subject-matter throughout his career; in 1833 he painted Snap Apple (Mrs Cantor priv. col.), and in 1841 contributed illustrations to Samuel Carter Hall's Ireland: Its Scenery and Character. When Sir Walter Scott visited Cork in 1825, Maclise made a sketch of him that was lithographed, and that inaugurated his public career.
The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife
Oil on canvas
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.