The rare copy is a 17th-century treatise on art history which is written in Latin, was owned by Michael Kearney, President Obama’s six times great-granduncle. Kearney’s bookplate is pasted into the leather-bound volume of De Pictura Veterum, written by German-born scholar Franciscus Junius.
The De pictura veterum, is a theoretical discussion of classical art and one of the cornerstones of the Neoclassical movement. Published in 1637 in Latin, it was followed by his own translations into English (1638) and Dutch (1641).
The English translation was published under the title, The Painting of the Ancients, w but collectors of antiquarian books, as opposed to readers, still seek out the Latin original.
The discovery of Kearney’s book is the latest ‘evidence to emerge of Mr Obama’s tenuous genealogical links to Ireland.
President Obama famously visited the Offaly village of Moneygall last year from where his maternal great-great-great grandfather Falmouth Kearney, a shoemaker’s son, emigrated to New York in 1850.
Diarmaid is a national award wining archaeologist and a graduate from the University of Sussex (MA). He is currently undertaking PHD research on the origins and development of Grog tempered Roman pottery within the area of Kent and Sussex. Diarmaid has excavated extensively in the Middle East and advises government departments on the historical and cultural aspect of country in the region