Adriaen Collaert, Flemish, 1560-1618
Title: Saint Patrick
Date: 1603
Medium: Engraving, hand coloured with gold highlights on paper
Sheet: 30.7 x 24.3 cm
Plate: 29.4 x 23.4 cm
Signed: lower right (printed): Adr Collaert excud.
Credit Line: Purchased, 2007
Object Number: NGI.2007.7
DescriptionThis print, depicting Ireland’s national saint is by Adriaen Collaert, a successful engraver and print publisher who based himself in Antwerp. From around 1600 Collaert styled himself ‘publisher to the Counter-Reformation’. The print was published in 1603, the year the Gaelic Lord Hugh O’Neill’s uprising was successfully suppressed by English forces. The Latin inscription, which translates as ‘P.S. greatly wishes an increase of Catholic faith and spiritual grace to the Senate and people of the fair city of Dublin in Ireland’, indicates that it was published to encourage Dublin citizens in their faith. This work can be seen as part of a wide cultural movement which aimed to promote and further the aims of Catholic Ireland.

The central image shows Patrick as a triumphant bishop wearing an elaborate cope and mitre. He holds a distinctive double-headed crozier and is surrounded by the poisonous creatures he banished from Ireland. The Baroque-style roundels illustrate dramatic scenes from his life including, at lower right, the saint unwittingly stabbing the foot of a Gaelic king while preaching. The colouring is carefully done, probably by a professional colourist, using a combination of gouache, transparent washes and gold leaf.

(National Gallery of Ireland: Essential Guide, 2016)
ProvenancePurchased, Kunsthadling Helmut H. Rumbler, Frankfurt, February 2007