Thomas James Mulvany, Irish, 1779-1845
Title: Menlo Castle, County of Galway, the Seat of Sir Valentine Blake, Bart
Date: 1844
Medium: Oil on panel
36 x 50 cm
Credit Line: Bequeathed, Dr Stephen Michael Shea, 2019
Object Number: NGI.2019.210
DescriptionThis painting, exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy in 1844, the year before Mulvany’s death, is a fine and rare record of a modest but significant Irish country house. Menlo Castle, the ancestral home of the Blakes, sits on the banks of the River Corrib just outside Galway City. Once a year, the family opened the grounds for the public to enjoy a wide variety of sports and social activities. This tradition, announced by the raising of a large flag above the house, became known as ‘Maying in Menlo’. A fire in July 1910 claimed the life of one of the house staff and destroyed the building. Its ivy-covered ruin still stands. The NGI currently holds just two works by Thomas James Mulvany, a portrait miniature and a modest, generic landscape.

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