They’re just shy of 100 years old.
Now you can take in every wintry blue detail of Harry Clarke’s stained glass creations in a very modern way; the Crawford Art Gallery has unveiled an online tour that allows you to discover hidden delights close up.
While the gallery is closed until further notice in line with Government Covid 19 guidelines, the online exhibition Harry Clarke Marginalia lets virtual visitors explore the artist’s delicate studies for his celebrated stained-glass masterpiece, The Eve of St Agnes (1924).
“We love to share our collection of Harry Clarke watercolours with visitors at this time of year, but the challenges of 2020 made us rethink how we could present them in an imaginative and accessible way particularly at a time when people cannot visit the gallery in person.” said the exhibition’s curator, Michael Waldron.
“This online format allows us to share details usually hidden within the frame. It’s very exciting to reveal Clarke’s working notes, doodles, and other sketches found only in the margins or on the reverse of his studies.”
Among these usually hidden details is a nude life drawing, handwritten instructions on colour choices, grotesque faces, clues to his wider artistic and musical network, and a possible self-portrait of the artist, whose illustrations also appeared in editions of Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales (1916) and Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination (1919).
Visitors across Ireland and the world can now enter Clarke’s imagination from the comfort of their own homes, schools, or workplaces.
Made in support of a commission from Harold Jacob of Jacob’s Biscuits in 1923, Clarke’s watercolours are inspired by “The Eve of St Agnes”, a poem written by John Keats in 1819 and published in 1820.
Harry Clarke Marginalia and other gallery activities can be viewed online here.