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Lot 207: Daniel Albert Veresmith (1861-1932)The LiberatorOil on canvas, 62 x 75cm (24½ x 29½'')Signed and dated 1921Daniel Albert Veresmith was born in Ohio in 1861 as Daniel Wehrschmidt. He changed his name to Veresmith when he moved to London in 1883,

Important Irish Art 7th December 2016

by Adam's

December 7, 2016

Dublin 2, Dublin, Ireland

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Description: Daniel Albert Veresmith (1861-1932)The LiberatorOil on canvas, 62 x 75cm (24½ x 29½'')Signed and dated 1921Daniel Albert Veresmith was born in Ohio in 1861 as Daniel Wehrschmidt. He changed his name to Veresmith when he moved to London in 1883, where he taught at the Bushy School of Art for twelve years. Subsequently he moved to Doneraile, Co. Cork and this work is inscribed Doneraile, Co. Cork on the reverse of the canvas. The painting is signed and dated D.A Veresmith Pinxt, 1921 in the banner at the bottom left of the canvas and at first glance appears to be a posthumous view of The Liberator, Daniel O'Connell delivering a speech to a crowd in Dame Street with Trinity College in the background and the statue of William of Orange in the foreground. This statue was blown up by Republicans in the 1920s. A closer look at the figures that form the crowd in the foreground however reveals a curious mix of individuals. Some are dressed in top hats and have whiskers which would suggest a mid- 19th Century date, whilst others wear the fashionable bowler hats of the 1920s and appear to be contemporary with the date of the painting, rather than O'Connell. The title of the work The Liberator, immediately suggests a reference to Daniel O'Connell, but the timelessness of the crowd may suggest that this person speaking is a modern liberator, perhaps Collins or de Valera. Thus, the work may be a broader reference to the ongoing struggle for Irish Independence which began centuries before. Indeed the image of William of Orange whose statue looms large over the tiny figure of the speaker gives further credence to this interpretation of the work.

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