26 April 2010
Harry Clarke (1889-1931) was an Irish stained glass artist, painter and book illustrator born on St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. Trained by his father a craftsman in stained glass he went on to become Ireland’s most accomplished and creative practitioner of the art. The waning Art Nouveau movement and the waxing Art Deco aesthetic along with continental Symbolism informed him. Clarke also brought something uniquely Celtic to his work as seen in the Geneva Window depicting Irish motifs. He was an accomplished illustrator, working on diverse projects such as Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination and Selected Poems of Algernon Charles Swinburne. On April Fool’s Day, 1924 Clarke completed the illustrations for John Keats, The Eve of St. Agnes, a study in blue that would later be a stained glass window. Sadly both Keats and Clarke shared not only their art but also young death from tuberculosis.