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Alicia Boyle, White Bryony (1944)

Alicia Boyle, White Bryony (1944)

Regular price €1,600.00 EUR
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Alicia Boyle is a somewhat overlooked Irish artist. She produced paintings over many decades and exhibited widely in her lifetime. She exhibited regularly in London in the 1950s, as well as with the Royal Academy in London, at the Irish Exhibition of Living Art in the 1950s. Her work is now in numerous collections, including the National Gallery of Ireland, the Crawford Art Gallery, the Ulster Museum, as well as many institutions in the UK.

This painting shows a beautiful young woman, naked, in what looks like an underground  grotto filled with paintings, tree roots and specimen jars. An otherwordly colour pallet seems to blend her into the background. White Bryony is a poisonous climbing plant native to the UK. The following goes some way to explaining the painting's meaning.

According to the U.K.'s Wildlife Trust, "the roots of White bryony were often 'passed off' as an entirely different species: Mandrake. A native of the Mediterranean, Mandrake was used as a painkiller and narcotic, and was also believed to be an aphrodisiac because its roots often looked like human figures (they supposedly shrieked as they were pulled from the earth). However, the real thing was hard to grow, so cheats would carve the roots of White bryony into human-like forms and sell them."

Dimensions (excluding frame) 58 x 76cm. Exhibited at C.E.M.A. Exhibition in Belfast in 1950. Signed and dated 1944. Notes on reverse.

Artworks can be viewed and purchased in our Clare Street shop. If ordered online, delivery is €20.00 nationwide (Ireland). Overseas shipping is available on request.

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