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professions and classes of Irish people freed by the act; the figures are all individual characters. Below the frieze, four seated angels, twice life size, face out from each corner of the monument.


Composition


The three layers of figures, set on a wide base, form a steep triangular shape, which leads the eye up to the figure of O’Connell at the top. The figures on the frieze are arranged in cleverly connected groups, varying in height and depth to avoid creating a monotonous row.


Style


The figures are in modern dress, but the composition and the draperies on the angels are classical.


Techniques and materials


The stone structure is in the tradition of architectural masonry. The large bronze figures were modelled in the round, except on the frieze, where background figures are in low relief.


Nineteenth-century painting


In the early part of the 19th century, style and technique continued much as they had in the 18th century. Most artists got their early training in Ireland and then went to England to continue their education and hopefully make a living. Artists painted in the Neo-Classical or Romantic styles, making careful, realistic drawings and finishing their paintings in blended brushstrokes. Subject matter was often sentimental, a trend that was also common in English literature of the time. Watercolour became more popular as paints and materials improved, not just for sketching, but for finished work as well.


The rule of thirds


The rule of thirds (Fig. 7.3) is a guideline for composing visual images. It is still used today, particularly in photography and film. The picture space is divided into nine equal spaces by two


The tower is visible beside this vertical line


The dominant figure is close to the crossing point of two thirds


The foreground fits in the bottom third


Foreground and middle ground features are on this vertical line


Fig. 7.3 The rule of thirds was developed to help artists compose their paintings. This example is a watercolour by George Petrie, The Last Circuit of Pilgrims at Clonmacnoise, 1838.


126 APPRECIATING ART: SECTION 1


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