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‘Liberty on the Barricades’ - Robert Ballagh

Medium: Screen Print

Dimensions: 50cm x 62cm

Born in Dublin in 1943, Robert Ballagh studied at the Dublin Institute of Technology. He took an apprenticeship with the painter Michael Farrell. He represented Ireland at the 1969 Paris Biennale. Ballagh has also worked as a set designer on such productions as Riverdance and the 1991 production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame. In addition to his other work he has designed over seventy Irish postage stamps and the last series of Irish banknotes before the introduction of the Euro.

Based on Eugene Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People” (La Liberté Guidant le Peuple), Ballagh’s painting has taken Delacroix’s original and simplified it making it look like a cartoon version, removing much of the detail and shading leaving flat colours. Delacroix’s original was painted in 1830 to commemorate the French revolution that took place earlier that year. It depicted Liberty leading the French people to freedom. In the original Liberty holds the French tricolore flag aloft, interestingly Ballagh has changed the flag from the French to a red flag, an international symbol of left-wing workers politics. By making this change Ballagh has transformed the image from one particular to France to one with a more international reading.

Click here to compare this work to “Liberty Leading the People” by Eugene Delacroix

Robert Ballagh - Liberty on the Barricades

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