Harry Clarke: The Master of Stained Glass — A R T L▼R K post

Harry Clarke: The Master of Stained Glass — A  R  T  L▼R K post

Given how much I have been featuring Harry Clarke work (see also here and here and Harry Clarke Studio alumni here) I thought it might be nice to share this post from the Ark Lark blog on Clarke himself….

On the 17th of March 1889, Harry Clarke, an Irish stained glass artist and book illustrator, was born in Dublin, Ireland. The second son of Joshua Clarke and Brigid McGonigle, he was remarkable already as a child for his extraordinary individuality and intelligence. After attending several schools, including the Model Schools in Marlborough Street, he […]

via Harry Clarke: The Master of Stained Glass — A R T L▼R K

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Stained Glass from Church of St Laurence O’Toole, Kilmacud, Dublin

Opened on December 14th 1969 by Flann O’Brien’s English teacher the Church of St Laurence O’Toole in Kilmacud is one of those very late twentieth century ecclesiastical spaces in Dublin which are oft-derided but I find personally quite congenial (another example is Newtownpark Avenue

There isn’t all that much stained glass, with a striking window above the entrance.

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Some details here:

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There are also two small images in a chapel of Perpetual Adoration which have a satisfyingly questing air:

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While not stained glass per se, I liked this icon of St Laurence O’Toole:

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“A kind of gospel in glass”: stained glass from the Church of the Holy Trinity, Fethard, Tipperary.

“A kind of gospel in glass”: stained glass from the Church of the Holy Trinity, Fethard, Tipperary.

Every so often I have blogged pictures of stained glass, mainly from various Tipperary locales but also from further afield. I have found that this has led me to discoveries like the windows of Cloneen and the work of Murphy Devitt Studios.

Looking out for stained glass had made me aware of beauty that I would not have noticed otherwise. I have visited Fethard, Co Tipperary, very many times, and I have visited the Church of the Holy Trinity (the Catholic one) once or twice. It had struck me before as an imposing facade but I had not been particularly drawn to it, as opposed to the  Augustinian Abbey down the road .

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Visiting again with a deliberate eye to stained glass, all was changed. There is a wide range of styles and settings for the stained glass here, from traditional pious image to stylised, near-impressionistic works. It is an immensely rewarding experience to visit, an once again I can only apologise for the quality of the camera work.

Indeed, for this post I initially thought I would split the post into three or even four, but have decided to use slideshows to help illustrate the range of work.

On entering the Church, one finds stained glass work on the doors inside. These images are among the hardest to photograph as the stairs and floor behind the glass tended to crowd out the image. These panels features a range of saints and symbols:

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Above the entrance doors to this lobby we see a wonderful window depicting the Trinity. Visual depictions of God the Father are generally rare, so I thought this warranted a close-up:

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Into the main church, and in a series of panels just above the very back of the nave we have the text of the Apostles Creed with appropriate imagery.  First a rather ill-lit image of the whole thing:

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And now a slide show (particular apologies for slide quality):

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There is a beautiful chapel of Perpetual Adoration here (although it was empty when I visited) which features the  most distinctively “modern” glass:

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20170621_13565920170621_13565120170621_135706(0)A particularly delightful feature was the pair of windows in the choir balcony, either side of the organ. These feature Biblical images of music, featuring Kings David (I am reasonably confident) and Solomon (I am less confident):

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Here is a close up of Solomon (I think):

20170621_135858The main body of the church features a range of striking windows. I thought I discerned a loose theme of education (broadly defined):

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There were also images of grief evident in another side chapel. For some reason I didn’t get a photo of the main central image which as far as I recall was the Crucifixion:

There were also four images of the evangelists on the lower windows each side of the transept:

20170621_13551920170621_13552620170621_13554420170621_135553Finally, here is the altarpiece itself:

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All in all, this visit was one of the most revelatory of my stained glass experience. It was a treat to see so much glass in one, relatively modest, parish church, and imagery of such richness and suggestive power. I felt something of what it might have been like in a more visually literate culture, where this imagery was a sort of gospel in glass.

Stained Glass from Church of the Guardian Angels, Newtownpark Avenue, Dublin 

Stained Glass from Church of the Guardian Angels, Newtownpark Avenue, Dublin 


The above image is actually from a parish centre adjacent to the main Church. The distinctive facial depiction of Christ is echoed in the Stations of the Cross inside the Church proper. Unsurprising, as they were executed by the same firm:

The same link tells us regarding the front facade depiction of the Guardian Angel that : 

  • Note the outstretched arms of the Guardian Angel encompassing the world with protective care. The head-dress was, in fact, copied from that worn by Cleopatra in the block-buster film of that time!

For comparison, here is a close up of the angel and a headdress  worn by Elizabeth Taylor in the famously epic (in every sense) Cleopatra she starred on with Richard Burton:

There is also a selection of interesting abstract stained glass in this Church as at the beginning and now the end of this post:

Stained Glass from St Fiacre’s Church, Loughboy, Kilkenny

Stained Glass from St Fiacre’s Church, Loughboy, Kilkenny

St Fiacre’s is a church within St Patrick’s Parish in Kilkenny  

St Fiacre, according to his Wikipedia article (bear in mind that around 0.05% of Wikipedia articles are classed by Wikipedia itself as “Good articles“), has interesting associations with haemmorhoids and taxis.

This window is signed by Patrick Muldowney and is celebrating its 25th anniversary round about now.

Other windows include  this lovely Madonna and Child. I wonder is it based on a paintin

There are some striking panels in two long abstract windows either side of the alta

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