County Down has many of the most beautiful and most varied landscapes in all of Ireland. In this
book we reproduce fifty landscape paintings by the award-winning artist Jim Manley who has lived in
the county since 1971. Manley, an inveterate hill-walker, mountaineer, bird-watcher and all round
Friend of the earth, has walked, cycled or driven throughout County Down, sketchbook to hand, for
over forty years. Only rarely featuring people or traces of modern life, his images capture an often
spectacular County Down landscape that has changed relatively little over the centuries.
In an acknowledgement of this, the short essays accompanying each lavish reproduction indicate the
opinions of eighteenth and nineteenth century travellers in the county, and historians of it. These are
taken from sources such as
The History of County Down
(1740) by Walter Harris,
(1786), the three volume
A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland
Tours in Ulster: A Handbook to the Antiquities and Scenery of the North of Ireland,
written by J.B.
Doyle and published in Dublin in 1854, and William Bassett’s guide to
In addition, Irish place names are explained and translated, and information given on the flora and
fauna encountered by the artist on his journeys. The introduction, by the playwright, curator and art
critic Brian McAvera, who has known the artist for the best part of forty years, situates Manley within
the contexts of both British and Irish art history. This is a book which should be of interest to those
interested in Irish art, and to those interested in the history, geography and scenery of County Down.
50 full-colour reproductions of paintings of County Down by Jim Manley
20 enlarged details from the paintings
Short text facing each main image which locates the area in relation to the opinions of
eighteenth and nineteenth century travellers and historians
Detailed and accessible introduction to Jim Manley’s work by the playwright, art critic and
historian Brian McAvera
Paper back, oblong format, pp. 60 plus covers
Published by the Four Fields Press and the Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast.