Sunday, October 10, 2004

The three pictures I've posted below represent different aspects of one of Ireland's most talented but least known artists. His name is Harry Clarke.

Harry Clarke was born in Dublin in 1889. He is best known for his work in producing stain glass windows such as the one in the Honan Chapel in Cork. However Clarke is also known for his work in illustration.

He illustrated a collection of Andersen Fairy tales which was published in 1916.

However Clarke also had a dark side and this can be seen in his illustrations for an edition of Faust by Gothe published in 1925, one of which is shown below.

Clarke's work met with controversy as his artistic vision did not always concur with the idealistic picture the church and politicians had for the nascent Irish free state. This is best shown in the story of the Geneva Window, a work commissioned by the state. The Geneva Window was rejected because of its content and now resides in an American museum.

Harry Clarke died of TB in Switzerland in 1931 where he had gone in the hope of recovery.

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