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CS Lewis exhibition: Magic of Narnia is illustrated at Belfast's Linen Hall Library

BY MICHELLE SMYTH

The beauty of Belfast's Linen Hall Library will provide the perfect backdrop for an exhibition by one of the world's top children's book illustrators.

As part of the library's CS Lewis exhibition which runs from Thursday until December 24, acclaimed Irish artist and illustrator Jonathan Barry will showcase a collection of his most popular Narnia images, which include oil paintings from the books of the series, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Magician's Nephew and The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader.

Dublin-based Barry has illustrated more than 65 titles and is the only Irish illustrator to have sold at Sotheby's in London.

Barry, who is most famous for his Wordsworth Classic front covers, of which he has produced 23, said the 225-year-old library is the perfect setting for the exhibition.

"I am an artist who paints in an Edwardian style and the Linen Hall Library, being a building with a very strong Edwardian history, is the perfect backdrop for my Narnia paintings.

"I adore CS Lewis. I cannot think of a better venue to launch my Northern Ireland exhibition," he said.

The free exhibition will form part of the CS Lewis Festival which takes place from November 18-23 and marks the 50th anniversary of the author's death.

All of the paintings will be available to purchase as prints – a world exclusive to the Linen Hall Library.

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