If I Paint My Sitter in a Purple Tie


These are the opening lines to the preface of Maurice Craig’s Dublin 1660-1860: The Shaping of a City. They hit the point of writing about history so exactly.

The historian proper enjoys less licence to select and omit than is commonly demanded by those who employ the aesthetic approach. The reader will, therefore, find little here about political developments, the condition of the poor, or even the more generalised aspects of social and economic history. Here and there he will find a dab or two from that side of the palette; and he may feel that in the interests of purity of colour these touches should have been left out. Perhaps he is right. But if I paint my sitter in a purple tie, that need not imply that he has no others in his wardrobe.

Such a wonderfully elegant defense of that particular pre-New-Historicism perspective.

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One Response to If I Paint My Sitter in a Purple Tie

  1. Nic says:

    Love this. Welcome back, I missed you!

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