Suffering

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

Although the marriage is taking place in the aftermath of a violent battle, there is very little explicit evidence of bloodshed in the painting. Maclise has arranged the dead in a variety of crumpled poses in the foreground or being carried and buried in the background.

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

The only blood that is clearly visible is one small trickle that appears to flow from the ground on to the inscribed stone slab.  This is symbolic of how Ireland has been wounded by this marriage and the chain of events it precedes.