Paul Henry (1876-1958)
A Connemara Village, 1933-34
© Estate of Paul Henry, IVARO, Dublin 2012
Photo © National Gallery of Ireland
An unusually large work in Henry’s oeuvre, this painting ‘records with great accuracy the view eastwards from the quay on the Clifden road just over a kilometre west of Letterfrack, Co. Galway. The mountain in the background is Doughruagh’ (S.B. Kennedy, ‘Paul Henry’, 2003). The cluster of diminutive, whitewashed cottages, picked out by sunlight against a backdrop of mountains and an impressive sky, is a motif that recurs in Henry’s landscape painting from the early 1920s onwards. These cottages emphasise the grandeur of the local scenery while simultaneously alluding to the isolation of the rural communities and their reliance on the land. The turf stacks in the foreground serve as further evidence of the integral link between the people and their surroundings.
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