GWYNN, Stephen. Leinster, Ulster, Munster, Connaught. Described by Stephen Gwynn. Pictured by Alexander Williams. Four volumes. [Each Volume is SIGNED BY ALEXANDER WILLIAMS]
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Profusely illustrated in colour. London, Glasgow & Bombay: Blackie, 1911. Royal octavo. pp. 64, 64, 62, 64, 48 (coloured plates). Grey papered boards, titled in green. Colour illustration inset on upper covers. Signed by Alexander Williams on titlepage of each volume. A few nicks to spine ends. A near fine set.
Alexander Williams RHA (1846-1930) is known for his talent in landscape and marine painting, but was also a successful taxidermist, with a significant collection of his birds and small mammals held in the Natural History Museum in Dublin. Raised in Drogheda, County Louth, he was largely self-taught and received just a few evening lessons in drawing at the RDS (Royal Drawing School). He began exhibiting with the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1870 and would continue to show work there for a running total of sixty one years. Williams moved permanently to Achill Island in 1899 which would become a significant source of influence for him. The garden he cultivated there has since become a popular public attraction. In 1911 he was asked by Blackie & Son, publishers, to produce paintings for a set of four books under the title Beautiful Ireland, one for each province. Gwynn wrote the text, four books were issued by Blackie and subsequently reissued in one volume by Gresham Publishers. Williams produced twelve paintings for each province.
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