Harry Clarke was born in Dublin in 1889. He is most famous in Ireland for his stained glass works. But my favourite pieces of work by him are his illustrations. Just out of Art School, having studied stained glass, the young Mr Clarke set off for London to try his hand as a book illustrator. He struggled to find anyone who would take on an untried young Irishman of barely 24. Until he met the publisher George Harrap. Seeing something of his potential he commissioned him to illustrate an edition of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairytales.
The Travelling Companion
To really get a feel for the detail and intricacy that he employed in these illustrations you have to see the originals. These reprints only give you an inkling of their beauty. I was lucky enough to see them in an exhibition in the National Gallery in Dublin during the summer.
Clarke's career as an illustrator didn't end here. Among his other collaborations was his work for Edgar Allen Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Clarke, never healthy, scuccumbed to tuberculosis in 1931 cutting short an illustrious career in stained glass. But I'd take one of his illustrations over the stained glass any day. Heres hoping that the National Gallery put some of the prints on permanent display.