James Barry, Irish, 1741-1806
Title: The Baptism of the King of Cashel by Saint Patrick
Date: c.1800-1801
Medium: Oil on paper, laid on canvas
62 x 63 cm
Credit Line: Purchased, 1996
Object Number: NGI.4623
Label TextBarry exhibited just one painting in Ireland during his lifetime, a finished version of this picture, which was purchased for the Irish House of Commons. This unfinished oil sketch represents Barry’s return to the same subject forty years after painting the original. He derived the subject from a 17th-century account of Irish history that appeared in English translation in 1723. According to the legend, Saint Patrick – while baptising the King of Cashel – accidentally pierced the monarch’s foot with his crozier. The king endured his pain with dignity, refraining from reacting to the injury.

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