Seductive stained glass goes on display in Dublin after 80 years

An original stained-glass artwork, which once outraged an Irish government back in the 1930s, has gone on display in Dublin.

Mr Gilhooley and Deirdre

The controversial stained-glass piece, Mr Gilhooley  Image by Karen Green / CC BY 2.0

Dublin’s Hugh Lane gallery has just made it possible for visitors to view the ‘scandalous’ original by artist Harry Clarke.

The stained glass piece is an illustration of a scene from Liam O’Flaherty’s ‘Mr Gilhooley’ in which a scantily clad Nelly poses seductively.

The artwork was originally commissioned as part of the Geneva Window by the Irish Government for the League of Nations building, however it was decided that the content was inappropriate and unsuitable by W.T Cosgrave, President of the Executive Council.

The Hugh Lane Gallery where the controversial stained-glass artwork has gone on display

The Hugh Lane Gallery where the controversial stained-glass artwork has gone on display Image by William Murphy / CC BY 2.0

RTE reports that the Gilhooley depiction was acquired by the Hugh Lane at a cost of £35,000 from the Fine Art Society in London and it is now possible to visit this stunning piece and slice of Irish history for free in the museum.

Barbara Dawson, Director of the Hugh Lane Gallery, described Clarke as “one of the greatest stained-glass artists of all time” a strong incentive to see first-hand how art had and still has the potential to cause a stir in society.

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