Harry Clarke, Irish, 1889-1931
Title: The Elf-hill
Medium: Ink, graphite, watercolour gouache and glazes with bodycolour highlights on paper
41.4 x 23.1 cm
Signed: lower right: HARRY CLARKE
Credit Line: Heritage Gift, Lochlann and Brenda Quinn, 2008
Object Number: NGI.2008.89.10
DescriptionThe Elf hill is a fairy tale about a feast held by the Elf King in his mound for the Gnome Chief of Norway and his two sons. The Elf King's daughters, paraded before the guests as potential brides, display their talents. Clarke captures the elf maidens' graceful dance, as they float against the theatrical backdrop of the moon in this delicately balanced composition: 'The elf girls…danced with shawls which were woven of mist and moonshine.' The combination of vivid colour and stylized pattern make this a strikingly imaginative illustration.
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 Elf-hill./The Elf Maidens had already begun to dance, and they danced a scarf dance...
(in pencil): 40

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