National Gallery of Ireland acquires Harry Clarke artwork for national collection

Stained glass panel of two figures reclining on green fields, surrounded by fairies.
Harry Clarke (1889-1931), The Enchantment of Bottom by Titania (1922). Photographer, Phil Pound.

A Christmas gift to the nation as stained glass will be free for all to view. Acquisition supported by the Patrons of Irish Art, National Gallery of Ireland.

One of Irish artist Harry Clarke’s finest and rarest works of stained glass has become part of the national collection at the National Gallery of Ireland. Titania Enchanting Bottom, created over a century ago in 1922, now belongs to the Irish public and will be free for Gallery visitors to view in the new year. The acquisition was supported by the Patrons of Irish Art of the National Gallery of Ireland, whose membership fees support acquisitions of Irish art. 

Born in Dublin on St Patrick’s Day in 1889, Harry Clarke is one of Ireland’s best known and most beloved artists. He achieved significant acclaim in his short lifetime, working across different media including book illustration. His principal career was in the production of stained glass windows, mainly for churches and religious houses across Ireland, as well as in the UK, US and Australia. He also produced a small number of secular works in glass. 

Titania Enchanting Bottom is the only glass work by Clarke that is inspired by Shakespeare. It depicts Act IV, Scene I, from Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Featuring characters from the play including Bottom, Puck, Titania, Peaseblossom, Cobweb and Moth, the work is adorned with botanical elements – a detail typical of Clarke’s work. From 1917 to 1922, Clarke made a unique series of miniature panels inspired by literature – including this one – adapting his talent and passion for book illustration to the medium of stained glass. These panels were set into bespoke cabinets, of which several, including this example, were designed by Dublin-born furniture maker James Hicks (1866-1936). Titania Enchanting Bottom is one of just five panels that survive. At the National Gallery of Ireland, it joins The Song of the Mad Prince (1917) which is on display in Room 20 and was acquired by the Gallery in 1987. These panels are significant to the understanding of Harry Clarke as an artist. They are the forerunners to the The Eve of St Agnes and The Geneva Window.

Dr Caroline Campbell, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, said: “As we reach the end of a busy but brilliant year at the National Gallery of Ireland, it is wonderful to be able to give the nation this special Christmas present. Our stained glass room and works by Harry Clarke are some of the most popular objects in our collection, so we know that our visitors – from home and afar – will love ‘Titania Enchanting Bottom’. I’m delighted that we have been able to add a work of such rarity to the national collection, and I thank our Patrons of Irish Art for their generous support of this new acquisition.”

Through new acquisitions and conservation, the National Gallery of Ireland develops and preserves the nation’s art collection. With extensive exhibitions, public programmes, community engagement, education and outreach work, the Gallery further commits to its role as a caretaker of creativity and imagination. The Gallery thanks and celebrates the role of its supporters, including the Patrons of Irish Art.

Titania Enchanting Bottom is undergoing Conservation treatment and will go on display to the public for free in Room 20 at the Gallery in the new year.

The Gallery would like to thank the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media for its ongoing support. 

Find out more at 


Notes to the editor: 

  • Images of the work are available on request.  
  • Dr Caroline Campbell, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, is available for interview.

Gallery opening hours:
Monday: 11am – 5.30pm 
Tuesday – Wednesday: 9.15am – 5.30pm 
Thursday: 9.15am – 8.30pm 
Friday – Saturday: 9.15am –5.30pm 
Sunday: 11am – 5.30pm

About the artist:

 Harry Clarke (1889-1931) was a leading exponent of the Celtic Revival and of the Irish Arts and Crafts movement at the beginning of the 20th century. Attracted by the artistic language of the Symbolists, he created in that style innumerable beautiful images derived from literature, medieval legends and religious sources. Extremely talented, his ability was equally impressive in different media, but his greatest success was achieved as a book illustrator and stained-glass artist. 

Harry Clarke left school early and began working for his father’s business, meanwhile taking night classes in stained glass at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. Clarke worked as a book illustrator, publishing his first designs in 1916, illustrations for Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Anderson (of which the National Gallery of Ireland holds ten original colour drawings). His reputation as an artist of considerable talent was established when in 1919 he published his black and white illustrations for Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination. 

His principal career was in the production of stained glass windows and he fulfilled forty commissions for churches and religious houses throughout Ireland, beginning with the windows for the Honan Chapel in Cork (1915-1917) and fifteen commissions for the UK, the US and Australia. Upon the death of his father in 1921, he inherited the stained glass business at North Frederick Street, renaming it ‘Harry Clarke Studios’. In addition to ecclesiastical design, Clarke undertook secular commissions often inspired by literature, the most famous being The Geneva Window (1926-1930). 

In 1929 Clarke was struck down by tuberculosis and travelled to a sanatorium in Davos, Switzerland, to attempt to recuperate. Conscious of his deteriorating physical state and fearful that he would die abroad, he attempted to make his way back to Ireland. He died on 6 January 1931 in Chur, Switzerland, where he is buried. Beloved husband of Margaret (Crilly) Clarke (1884-1961), the Harry Clarke Studios continued under Margaret’s helm and operated until 1973. 

About the National Gallery of Ireland:

The National Gallery of Ireland is one of the country’s most popular visitor attractions housing the nation’s collection of European and Irish art from about 1300 to the present day, and an extensive Library & Archive. Entry to the collection is free for all to enjoy, learn and be inspired. Tickets are required for some temporary exhibitions. 

About Patrons of Irish Art programme:

There are five opportunities for those who would like to support us as a Patron of the National Gallery of Ireland. Each level of patronage offers a unique and personalised Gallery experience, fantastic benefits and dedicated events. Our Patrons can also enjoy all the privileges of our Friends of the National Gallery of Ireland programme. Every Patron will be contributing to the acquisition of Irish works of art. For further information, please visit 

2024 at the National Gallery of Ireland:

2024 is the 170th anniversary of the establishment of the Gallery through the National Gallery of Ireland Act (1854) and the 160th anniversary of the opening of the National Gallery of Ireland on the 30 January 1864. The Gallery will also publish a new strategic plan for the period 2024-28 in early 2024.


Faigheann Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann saothar ealaíne Harry Clarke don bhailiúchán náisiúnta

Bronnadh bronntanas Nollag ar an tír mar gheall go mbeidh gach duine in ann amharc ar an ngloine dhaite saor in aisce. Thacaigh Pátrúin Ealaíne na hÉireann, Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann, leis an mbronnadh.

Tá cuid den bhailiúchán náisiúnta ag Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann déanta de cheann de na saothair ghloine daite is deise agus is annaimhe a dtagtar orthu de chuid Harry Clarke. Is leis an bpobal anois Titania Enchanting Bottom, a cruthaíodh breis agus céad bliain ó shin in 1922, agus beidh cuairteoirí chuig an nGailearaí in ann amharc air saor in aisce san athbhliain. Thacaigh Phátrúin Ealaíne na hÉireann de chuid Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann leis an mbronnadh, a dtacaíonn a dtáillí ballraíochta le healaín Éireannach a fháil. 

Rugadh Harry Clarke i mBaile Átha Cliath ar Lá Fhéile Pádraig in 1889, agus tá sé ar dhuine de na healaíontóirí Éireannacha is fearr aithne agus is mó ceana. Bhain sé cáil shuntasach amach ina shaol gearr inar oibrigh sé i measc meáin éagsúla, maisiú leabhar san áireamh. Bhain a phríomhghairm bheatha le fuinneoga daite a dhéanamh do shéipéil agus do thithe reiligiúnacha go príomha ar fud na hÉireann, agus sa Ríocht Aontaithe, sna Stáit Aontaithe agus san Astráil. Rinne sé cúpla saothar saolta i ngloine freisin. 

Is é Titania Enchanting Bottom an t-aon saothar gloine le Clarke a spreag Shakespeare. Léirítear ann Gníomh IV, Radharc I, ó dhráma grinn Shakespeare A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Tá carachtair ón dráma ann, Puck, Titania, Peaseblossom, Cobweb agus Moth san áireamh agus tá sé maisithe le gnéithe luibheolaíocha – sonra ar gnách go dtagtar air i saothair Clarke. Rinne Clarke sraith uathúil mionphainéal ó 1917 go 1922 a bhí spreagtha ag an litríocht – an ceann seo san áireamh – a rinne a thallann agus a phaisean i dtaobh leabhair a mhaisiú a chur in oiriúint do mheán na gloine daite. Cuireadh na painéil seo isteach i gcaibinéad a tógadh le sainchuspóir, a ndearna an déantóir troscáin a rugadh i mBaile Átha Cliath, James Hicks (1866-1936), roinnt díobh, an sampla seo san áireamh, a dhearadh. Níl sa saothar Titania Enchanting Bottom ach ceann amháin de chúig phainéal atá ann go fóill. Taispeánfar é ag Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann taobh le The Song of the Mad Prince (1917) atá ar taispeáint i Seomra 20 agus a fuair an Gailearaí in 1987. Tá na painéil seo tábhachtach chun tuiscint a fháil ar Harry Clarke mar ealaíontóir. Rinneadh iad roimh The Eve of St Agnes agus The Geneva Window.

Dúirt an Dr Caroline Campbell, Stiúrthóir Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann: “De réir mar a dhéanaimid deireadh bliain ghnóthach a bhaint amach ag Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann, is iontach a bheith in ann an bronntanas speisialta Nollag seo a thabhairt don náisiún. Tá ár seomra gloine daite agus saothair le Harry Clarke ar cheann de na hearraí is mó tóir inár mbailiúchán, mar sin, is eol dúinn go mbainfidh ár gcuairteoirí – as áiteanna i gcéin agus i gcóngar – scoth an taitnimh as Titania Enchanting Bottom’. Tá lúcháir orm gur éirigh linn saothar nach dtagtar air ach go rí-annamh a chur leis an mbailiúchán náisiúnta, agus gabhaim buíochas le Pátrúin Ealaíne na hÉireann as an tacaíocht fhlaithiúil a thug siad leis an saothar nua seo a fháil.”

Déanann Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann bailiúchán ealaíne an náisiúin a fhorbairt agus a chaomhnú trí éadálacha agus trí chaomhnú nua. Tugann an Gailearaí gealltanas breise dá ról mar fheighlí na cruthaitheachta agus na samhlaíochta trí thaispeántais, cláir phoiblí, rannpháirtíocht an phobail, oideachas agus obair for-rochtana fhorleathan. Gabhann an Gaeilge buíochas le agus déanann sé ceiliúradh ar ról a lucht tacaíochta, Pátrúin Ealaíne na hÉireannach san áireamh.

Tá obair chaomhnaithe á déanamh ar Titania Enchanting Bottom agus cuirfear ar taispeáint don phobal saor in aisce é i Seomra 20 ag an nGailearaí san athbhliain.

Ba mhaith leis an nGailearaí buíochas a ghlacadh leis an Roinn Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán as a tacaíocht leanúnach. 

Is féidir teacht ar níos mó eolais ag 


Nótaí don eagarthóir: 

  • Tá íomhánna den saothar ar fáil ar iarraidh.  
  • Tá an Dr Caroline Campbell, Stiúrthóir Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann, ar fáil le haghaidh agallaimh.

Uaireanta oscailte an Ghailearaí:
Dé Luain: 11am – 5.30pm 
Dé Máirt – Dé Céadaoin: 9.15am – 5.30pm 
Déardaoin: 9.15am – 8.30pm 
Dé hAoine – Dé Sathairn: 9.15am – 5.30pm 
Dé Domhnaigh: 11am – 5.30pm

Eolas faoin ealaíontóir:

Príomhléiritheoir na hAthbheochana Ceiltí agus ghluaiseacht Ealaíon agus Ceardaíochta na hÉireann ag tús na fichiú haoise a bhí in Harry Clarke (1889-1931). Mheall teanga ealaíonta na Siombalaithe é agus chruthaigh sé iliomad íomhánna áille sa stíl sin a baineadh ón litríocht, ó fhinscéalta meánaoiseacha agus ó fhoinsí reiligiúnacha.  Bhí sé an-ildánach go deo, agus bhí a chumas chomh héachtach céanna i meáin éagsúla, ach bhain sé an rath ba mhó amach mar mhaisitheoir leabhar agus mar ealaíontóir gloine daite. 

D’fhág Harry Clarke an scoil go luath agus thosaigh sé ag oibriú do ghnólacht a athar, agus d’fhreastail sé ar ranganna oíche i ngloine dhaite i dturas an ama freisin ag Scoil Ealaíne Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath. D’oibrigh Clarke mar mhaisitheoir leabhar, agus d’fhoilsigh sé a chéad dearaí in 1916, maisiúcháin do Fairy Tales le Hans Christian Anderson (a bhfuil deich gcinn de na líníochtaí bunúla daite siúd á gcoimeád ag Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann). Bhain sé a chlú amach mar ealaíontóir sárchumais nuair a d’fhoilsigh sé a mhaisiúcháin dhubha agus bhána in 1919 do Tales of Mystery and Imagination de chuid Edgar Allen Poe. 

Bhain a phríomhghairm bheatha le fuinneoga daite a dhéanamh agus rinne sé daichead coimisiún do shéipéil agus do thithe reiligiúnacha ar fud na hÉireann, ag tosú leis na fuinneoga do Shéipéal Uí Eonáin i gCorcaigh (1915-1917) agus cúig choimisiún déag don Ríocht Aontaithe, na Stáit Aontaithe agus an Astráil. Bronnadh an gnólacht gloine daite ar Shráid Fhreidric Thuaidh air le hoidhreacht ar bhás a athar in 1921, agus thug sé ‘Harry Clarke Studios’ air. Anuas ar dhearadh eaglasta, thug Clarke faoi choimisiúin shaolta a bhí spreagtha go minic ag an litríocht, arbh é The Geneva Window (1926-1930) an ceann ba cháiliúla. 

Tháinig eitinn ar Clarke in 1929 agus thaistil sé go sanatóir in Davos, an Eilvéis, le hiarracht a dhéanamh teacht as. Mar gheall gurbh eol dó go raibh sé ag dul i léig go fisiciúil agus mar gheall gurbh eagal leis go bhfaigheadh sé bás thar lear, rinne sé iarracht a bhealach a dhéanamh ar ais go hÉirinn. Fuair sé bás an 6 Eanáir 1931 in Chur, an Eilvéis, áit ar cuireadh é. B’fhear céile dil é le Margaret (Crilly) Clarke (1884-1961) a lean le Harry Clarke Studios a fheidhmiú faoina stiúir go dtí 1973. 

Eolas faoi Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann:

Tá Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann ar cheann de na nithe is mó is díol spéise do chuairteoirí sa tír ina bhfuil bailiúchán ealaíne Eorpaí agus Éireannaí na tíre ó thart ar an mbliain 1300 go dtí an t-am i láthair, chomh maith le Leabharlann agus Cartlann fhairsing. Tá cead isteach chuig an mbailiúchán saor in aisce chun gur féidir le gach duine taitneamh a bhaint as, foghlaim agus spreagadh a fháil. Teastaíonn ticéid do roinnt taispeántais shealadacha. 

Eolas faoi chlár Phátrúin Ealaíne na hÉireann:

Tá cúig dheis dóibh siúd ar mian leo tacú linn mar Phátrún Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann. Cuireann gach leibhéal pátrúnachta eispéireas uathúil agus pearsantaithe Gailearaí, tairbhí iontacha agus imeachtaí tiomnaithe ar fáil. Is féidir lenár bPátrúin taitneamh a bhaint freisin as pribhléidí uile chlár Chairde Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann. Cuirfidh gach Pátrún le saothair ealaíne Éireannacha a fháil. Chun teacht ar eolas breise, tabhair cuairt, le do thoil, ar 

2024 ag Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann:

Is é 2024 comóradh 170 bliain ar bhunú an Ghailearaí trí Acht Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann (1854) agus comóradh 160 bliain ar oscailt Ghailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann an 30 Eanáir 1864. Foilseoidh an Gailearaí plean straitéiseach nua freisin don tréimhse 2024-28 go luath in 2024.   
Instagram: @nationalgalleryofireland
Twitter: @NGIreland
Facebook: @nationalgalleryofireland

You might also like: