Friday, 22 January 2016

Irish Artists: Harry Clarke

I've been researching irish art and poetry recently, trying to find some inspiration for a painting on 1916 which I've been assigned for a competition. Politics and political art is not my forte, so I decided to go hunting those parts of irish culture that do thrill me.

And I was looking again at Harry Clarke, who lived at the time, and his fantastical illustrations and stained glass windows.  Harry was a Pisces Sun with a Virgo Moon. I knew there had to be Virgo in there somewhere, given the level of detail and precision in his drawings, and what a beautiful expression of Pisces his art is.

Pisces rules the realm of archetypes, of fairy tales and mythology, spirituality, dreams and the unconscious, everything and all that lies beyond and moves human life. It's colours are the deep blues and greens of the sea. Pisceans often get lost in the enormity of the currents moving their life, but in Harry's case his Virgo moon drove him to craft something tangible from those currents.  To bring heaven down to earth. So how apt that he is probably best known for the stained glass windows he designed, not just for churches, but for secular buildings too.

He was also a celebrated illustrator of fairy tales by Hans Christian Anderson and Charles Perrault, and the tales of Edgar Allen Poe.  Interestingly,  the work for his first commission of illustrations, for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, was destroyed during the Easter Rising.

So, I have a beginning.


  1. thank you for the virgo moon notes there, C.