Harry Clarke, Irish, 1889-1931
Title: "Down to the Central Earth, his Proper Scene"
Date: 1913
Medium: Ink and traces of graphite underdrawing on card
36.9 x 28 cm
Signed: lower left (in ink): Harry Clarke/ 1913 on verso: H.C. 1913
Credit Line: Purchased, 1936
Object Number: NGI.2961
DescriptionClarke's set of wistful yet humorous illustrations to Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock was commissioned by his early patron Laurence Ambrose Waldron. The National Gallery of Ireland purchased them from Waldron's niece Cicily O'Kelly in 1936. Clarke mastered the same type of dotted line first used by Aubrey Beardsley in his pen and ink illustrations intended for process line production. Comparisons are often made with Beardsley's rendering of Pope's poem, published in 1896.
Clarke's use of finely drawn adjacent lines, vertical in the background, but loosely drawn to create the silken strands around the flitting gnome, displays his skilful mastery of the pen. Spleen, also adorned by silken strands, sits amidst his snake bed. This dark underworld scene is marked by a great sense of clarity and depth.
Exhibition HistoryBristle: Hair and Hegemony, Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda, 07 July - 25 September 2017
Inscriptionin graphite (on verso): "They are not all lunatics in asylums/ nor artists in an art school"

This website uses cookies

We use optional cookies to enhance your user experience and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services.


About Cookies

Cookies are small text files that can be used by websites to make a user's experience more efficient. The law states that we can store cookies on your device if they are strictly necessary for the operation of this site. For all other types of cookies we need your permission. This site uses different types of cookies. Some cookies are placed by third party services that appear on our pages. You can at any time change or withdraw your consent from the Cookie Declaration on our website. Learn more about who we are, how you can contact us and how we process personal data in our Privacy Policy. Please state your consent ID and date when you contact us regarding your consent.

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

JSESSIONIDeMuseumUser SessionSessionHTTP

Statistics Cookies

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

_gaGoogle Tag ManagerRegisters a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website.2 yearsJavaScript
_gidGoogle Tag ManagerRegisters a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website.1 dayJavaScript