Irish Joy

Ok, so I’m a day late with a St. Patrick’s Day post. And I have absolutely no excuse. I didn’t go to the parade, I didn’t drink beer or whisky, and I didn’t make out with any Irish guys. However, I did tweet some James Joyce, so that should count for something 🙂

Today is “the day after” and it’s so beautiful here in New York! Those with hangovers can’t enjoy it, the poor bastards. I’m heading to the park in a few minutes for an invigorating run. But before I go, how about a little art? An Irish painter of course. George W. Joy was born in Dublin in 1844. His work demonstrates an attention to detail, and frequently depicts narrative subjects drawn from historical and literary sources. I chose this piece, The Bayswater Omnibus. Nice composition. The well-to-do woman in the middle, in the green dress, holding flowers and an umbrella, is the focal point. She contrasts with the woman next to her, a poor mother huddled with her two children. Perhaps Joy was making a statement about class disparities in 19th century London:

I just realized something; James JOYCE. George JOY. Joy abounds in Irish surnames. Interesting!

9 thoughts on “Irish Joy

  1. Andrew says:

    I love your art selection for this post. I think you’re right about the class disparity theme. Did you notice the ghosted image on the far left? This could be a commentary about how the struggle of the lower class is invisible or insignificant to the upper class.

    Maybe in the future this painting will look dated, not because the man is wearing a top hat, but because he is reading a newspaper.

    • artmodel says:


      You have a great eye! I didn’t look as carefully as you did. The ghostly image makes the painting even more interesting. I have always liked scenes with groups of figures.

      And yes, you’re right about the newspaper. We’ll have to imagine it as an iPad.

      Thanks for your comments Andrew!


  2. Interesting image. Do you see a ghostly, unfinished image, of an old lady to the left of the mother and infant? The sitting girl in white with the black veal appears a little pissed, did the woman entering just jostle her? Note the slatted floor boards so the horseshit off the passengers shoes doesn’t pile up in an unsightly manner.

  3. Bill MacDonald says:

    A wee bit different from my “companions” on the subway ride home from Boston last night. Ironically, Joy’s people look infinitely more sober 🙂 I mean, you know an Irishman is drunk when he can’t remember what the Irish eyes are doing in his song.

    Their loss, though — there were also some comely lasses on the train, but they seemed more amused than attracted by the tenors.

    • artmodel says:


      Ah yes, the drunken subway singing. A classic! Can be simultaneously amusing and annoying. Sounds like you had a fun St. Pat’s day, though. Boston must be a blast on that holiday.

      Thanks for sharing the story!


  4. violinhunter says:

    I like this artist – thanks.

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