These images, which represent the first ever colour photographs taken in Ireland, were taken in 1913 by two French women, Marguerite Mespoulet and Madeleine Mignon-Alba, who used newly available autochrome colour plates.
See the full collection at An t-Oileán.
Haunting and stark, these photos made me think of An Béal Bocht by Myles na gCopaleen (Brian Ó Nualláin). While that book poked mighty fun at the Gaelic mentality and condition, there is no hiding the fact that life for the native Irish was hard, wet, and penurious, and these photographs illustrate the reality of a “terrible beauty.”
This could well be “an Seanduine Liath” with Michelangelo and little Bonaparte O’Coonasa
Their likes will never be there again.
The Old Wolf has spoken.