16 March 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day: The Art of Harry Clarke

St. Patrick's Day is a favorite holiday of Porcelains and Peacocks and it is an excuse to look at the genius of Irish artist Harry Clarke (1889–1931). Born in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day he was a major contributor to the Irish Arts and Crafts Movement. Clarke's work centered on stained glass and book illustration. An early visit to Chartres Cathedral inspired him to use brilliant jewel toned stain glass for both his religious and secular themed windows. Clarke was associated with the An Túr Gloine, Irish for “Tower of Glass”, a cooperative studio for stained glass artists that offered Irish architects and builders an alternative to the commercial stained glass imported from England and Germany. As a book illustrator he was a part of The Golden Age of Illustration. Clarke’s illustrations ranged from the beautifully grotesque Faust to the poetic "They danced with shawls that were woven of mist and moonshine" of the Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen.


  1. Kendra-
    Lovely as usual! Thank you for putting me in the Irish spirit!
    Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!


    David @ Ashfield Hansen Design

  2. Thank You David, I hope you and Barbara had a lovely St. Patrick's Day! Kendra

  3. Harry Clarke is my personal hero and I am delighted each and every time there is the opportunity for new audiences to discover his exquisite work. Your posts are always so beautifully chosen, but this one holds special resonance -- Thanks so much for making my day.

    Best wishes,

  4. Thank you so much Belisama, I agree Harry Clarke's work is exquisite and I think a little unknown. I find I keep coming back to it and always seeing something new and enchanting in it. Best, Kendra

  5. Really marvelous, stunning actually, unfamiliar with his work. will remedy that.
    Love Faust illustration, the glass is a jewel.
    Late greeting for Saint Patrick, A favorite here in Babylon, any chance to honor a blessed saint and burn some incense :)

  6. Len, I think you will really enjoy Clarke's work. He had a short life dying from TB, so comparable to the great talents that we lost from AIDS. Clarke's work travels between decadence and innocence, always appealing to you and I. Best, Kendra

  7. That big flash of CLARK GREEN ,on opening P&P sits like a vacation plan in my head...yes, Ireland, you've turned my head in a direction.
    You are inspiration and wonder at the same time. You show how search and find goes beynd chairs and lamps.

    With admiration, I await the next...

  8. Ireland is an inspiration; the beauty of Yeats' poems which my father read to me as a child always inspires me. xo, K


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