Stone Cross

Detail from Daniel Maclise, 'The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife', 1854
Daniel Maclise, 'The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife', 1854

A stone cross lies toppled over on the ground, with Strongbow's foot firmly planted on top. Those who interpret the painting as representing England’s first foothold in Ireland, suggest that this action symbolises Strongbow’s disrespect for Ireland and the destruction of traditional culture. However, the cross is not Celtic, and it is possible that Maclise was alluding to the Romantic view that ancient cultures throughout Western Europe were suppressed during the Norman Age.