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Anna Livia Plurabelle.

Anna Livia Plurabelle.


100 x 80 cm.


The River Liffey


Anna Livia Plurabelle or ALP.


This painting is based on the main character in Joyce’s classic “Finnegans Wake”. The character is interchangeable between a heroine and a river (The Liffey) which enters the sea as it flows through Dublin. It is therefore both.


The image is from one of a series of river gods commissioned by the famous architect James Gandon (1743-1823) from Edward Smyth, a virtually unknown sculptor who worked on them from 1780 to their completion in 1786, for the Custom House in Dublin. The “heads of the river” were 14 in number and were called after 14 different rivers in Ireland.


The Liffey is the only female among the male figures. Anna Livia Plurabelle


The original sculptures can be seen to this day on the outside of the building, over 200 years later.



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Taken on April 6, 2011