Alfred Elmore: life, work and context

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de Bhailís, Caoimhín
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University College Cork
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Alfred Elmore R.A. was a prominent and prolific Anglo-Irish artist during the nineteenth-century. Since his death, in 1881, he has largely disappeared from the study of Art History with the exception of a few of his works that have been examined in terms of gender studies of the period. It has also been asserted that other paintings from his oeuvre exhibit anti-Catholic tendencies. This thesis seeks to reposition the artist and his religious paintings as being, if not overtly pro-Catholic, at least neutral in their intention. As a painter across all genres of the period, Elmore’s narrative paintings suggest a unique approach to ‘narrative’ painting that allows the viewer free-play in the construction of internal, imaginative, narrative creation. Elmore’s narrative paintings will be compared with familiar works by other artists of the period in order to locate these paintings within the genre and highlight his approach to rendering narrative. Described as ‘ahead of his time’ Elmore’s drawings display a modernity that belies his nineteenth-century, British context and allows for a reassessment of the status of British artistic practice during that period. As an exercise in connoisseurship and contextual interpretation, this thesis proposes that Elmore was an artist who either was a unique and exceptional artist in his output and mode of creation or that an examination of other neglected artists of the period that might exhibit similar artistic properties to Elmore will allow a renewed evaluation of British art and artists of the Victorian era.
Alfred Elmore , Art , Nineteenth-century Ireland
De Bhailis, P. C. 2017. Alfred Elmore: life, work and context. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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