Cú Chulainn was the greatest hero of the Ulster Cycle of Early Irish Literature. Named Setanta as a youth he was sent to train as a warrior with the Red Branch Knights (Craebh Rua) of Ulster, the most feared warriors of their day.
One day Setanta was attacked by the ferocious hound of Culainn, the king’s blacksmith. With one shot of the sliotar (a hard leather ball) from his steady ash hurley he buried the ball in the brain of the hound, enraging the blacksmith. The smith and his men surrounded the knights with fiery tongs, irons and a massive anvil and it is recorded that this was the one and only time the Ulster knights ever feared for their lives.
Setanta offered himself in place of the hound to prevent bloodshed; thus it was that Setanta came to be known as the Hound of Culainn or ,in gaelic, Cú Chulainn.
Many stories and tales speak of his heroism and bravery, his exploits and adventures, his ferocious temper and skill in battle. He is the central hero of the greatest epic in Early Irish Literature known as the ‘Táin Bó Cualinge’ –the ‘Cattle Raid of Cooley’.
Artist’s note; This painting was originally commissioned as a book cover for ‘The Cruitin’, author Ian Adamson’s ground-breaking history of the Ulster Protestant people.
It was a very controversial book at the time, published in 1984 at the height of the ‘Troubles’, challenging the assumption that the Protestant and Loyalist people of Ulster were all descended from Scots and English settlers during the Elizabethan genocides and plantations.
It demonstrated quite clearly that the Ulster Scots were in fact an indigineous people who had occupied both parts of Ulster and Scotland from time immemorial.
The A4 8×11 and A3 11×16 are printed by me in my studio, the A2 16×23 prints are colour lithographic prints on white 300gsm heavy textured linen finish stock, the A1: 33”x23”, are printed by me in my studio. The A1:33”x23” prints are printed professionally by a top quality Irish printing company. All prints are reproductions made directly from the original painting/drawing and are as close to the original as is possible.
A4 8.30”x 11.7” and A3 16.5″ x 11.69″ prints are Signed Open Edition.
A2. 16.5 inches x 23 inches (408 mm x 585 mm). Printed colour lithographic prints on white 300gsm heavy textured linen finish stock.
A1: 33.1″x 23.4″ Prints are Signed Limited Editions of 95 and are embossed as proof of authenticity. It can take up to 10 days from received payment to complete this order and ship 33”x23” prints.
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