Painted in 1920, when Ireland was in the midst of revolution and civil conflict, Russell’s Celtic Twilight might at first glance seem remote from the dangers and challenges presented by the political and military situation. However, while depicting a scene of tranquillity, there is also a sense of events unfolding in the wider world. Depicting two figures by a lake in the West of Ireland. the painting is dominated by a misty sky, suffused with sunshine, and tinged with pink. Above a range of purple mountains in the distance, the sun, part hidden in the mist, is beginning to set. In the foreground, beside a small lake, two girls, one sitting and one standing, appear lost in thought as the day draws to a close. They may be contemplating a past that is slipping away with the evening, or possibly a new future that the dawn will bring.
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