In the past century Irish painting has changed from a British-influenced lyrical tradition to an art that evokes the ruggedness and roots of an Irish Celtic past. At the turn of the twentieth century Irish painters, including notables Walter Frederick Osborne and Sir William Orpen, looked elsewhere for influence. Osborne's exposure to "plein air" painting deeply impacted his stylistic development; and Orpen allied himself with a group of English artists, while at the same time participated in the French avant-garde experiment, both as painter and teacher.
However, nationalist energies were beginning to coalesce, reviving interest in Irish culture--including Irish visual arts. Beatrice Elvery's Ã‰ire (1907), a landmark achievement, merged the devotional simplicity of fifteenth-century Italian painting with the iconography of Ireland's Celtic past, linking the history of Irish Catholicism with the still-nascent Irish republic. And, although also captivated by the French plein air school, Sir John Lavery invoked the mythology of his native land for a 1928 commission to paint the central figure for the bank note of the new Irish Free State. Lavery chose as this figure Ã‰ire, with her arm on a Celtic harp, the national symbol of independent Ireland.
In Irish painting from about 1910, memories of Edwardian romanticism coexisted with a new sense of realism, exemplified by the paintings of Paul Henry and SeÃ¡n Keating, a student of Orpen's. Realism also crept into the work of Edwardians Lavery and Orpen, both of whom made paintings depicting World War I, Lavery with a distanced Victorian nobility, Orpen closer to the front, revealing a more sinister and realistic vision. Meanwhile, counterpoint to the Edwardians and realists came Jack B. Yeats, whose travels throughout the rugged and more authentically Irish West led him to depict subjects ranging from street scenes in Dublin to boxing matches and funerals. Fusing close observations of Irish life and icons with an Irish identity in a new way, Yeats changed the face of Irish painting and became the most important Irish artist of his century.
With respect to which of the following painters does the passage provide LEAST support for the assertion that the painter was influenced by the contemporary art of France?
(A) Walter Frederick Osborne
(B) Sir William Orpen
(C) Beatrice Elvery
(D) SeÃ¡n Keating
(E) Sir John Lavery
Which of the following best explains the author's use of the word "counterpoint" in referring to Yeats?
(A) Yeats' paintings differed significantly in subject matter from those of his contemporaries in Ireland.
(B) Yeats reacted to the realism of his contemporary artists by invoking nineteenth-century naturalism in his own painting style.
(C) Yeats avoided religious and mythological themes in favor of mundane portrayals of Irish life.
(D) Yeats' paintings suggested that his political views departed radically from those of the Edwardians and the realists.
(E) Yeats built upon the realism painting tradition, elevating it to unprecedented artistic heights.
The author points out the coexistence of romanticism and realism most probably in order to show that
(A) Irish painters of the early twentieth century often combined elements of realism with those of romanticism into a single painting
(B) Irish painters of the early twentieth century tended to romanticize the harsh reality of war
(C) for a time painters from each school influenced painters from the other school
(D) Yeats was influenced by both the romantic and realist schools of Irish painting
(E) the transition in Irish painting from one predominant style to the other was not an abrupt one
Which of the following is the most likely title of a longer article in which the passage might have appeared?
(A) "20th Century Irish Masterpieces: A Coalescence of Painting Styles"
(B) "Who Deserves Credit for the Preeminence of Yeats among Irish Painters?"
(C) "Realism vs. Romanticism: Ireland's Struggle for National Identity"
(D) "Irish Paintings: Reflections of an Emerging Independent State"
(E) "The Role of Celtic Mythology in Irish Painting"