Harry Clarke, Irish, 1889-1931
Title: The Nightingale
Medium: Ink, graphite, watercolour, gouache and glazes, with bodycolour highlights
40.7 x 28 cm
Signed: upper right: HARRY/CLARKE
Credit Line: Heritage Gift, Lochlann and Brenda Quinn, 2008
Object Number: NGI.2008.89.3
DescriptionIn The Nightingale Andersen deals with the theme of the artificial versus the authentic. The story tells of the Emperor of China who prefers the tinkling of a bejewelled music box to the beautiful song of a nightingale. However, when the Emperor is near death, it is the real bird's song that restores him to health. Clarke's unique mix of warm colour, pattern and ornamental detail is visible in the Emperor's costume, and in the exotic and luxurious furnishings that surround him.
ProvenanceA.& M. Shands, USA, by 1994; The Fine Art Society, London; Heritage Gift, Lochlann and Brenda Quinn, 2008
Exhibition HistoryHarry Clarke: Ten Original Illustrations for Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales, The Fine Art Society, London, 2008
Inscriptionon verso (in ink): The Nightingale/The Artificial bird had his place on a/silken cushion close to the Emperors bed./... gold and precious stones lay around him.

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