DUBLIN.- The National Gallery of Ireland presents today two exhibitions. One exhibition is Harry Clarke's Illustrations for Hans Christian Andersen's 'Fairy Tales', on view through August 23, 2009. In 2008 the Gallery received a generous gift of 10 magnificent watercolours commissioned to illustrate Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales. In 1916 the London publisher Harrap & Co published an edition of the stories lavishly illustrated with 16 colour plates by the young Irish artist Harry Clarke (1889-1931). Clarke's illustrations, which include The Snow Queen, The Hardy Tin Soldier and The Wild Swans feature exquisite detail and rich colours. These exotic and highly imaginative compositions show the artist's mastery of colour and line, reminiscent of his intricate stained glass designs. The display of these recent acquisitions will be complemented by six black and white illustrations (acquired in 1936) which Clarke produced for an edition of Alexander Pope's The Rape of the Lock.
The other exhibition is titled From Raphael to Rossetti: Drawings from the Collection. This exhibition brings together some 40 drawings by celebrated draftsmen and lesser known figures. Over the centuries artists drew to practice their graphic skills, to work out compositions for paintings, to record the world in the form of portraits, landscapes or still-life. Sometimes drawings were made simply for amusement. Spanning the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries, the selection of works on view will explore the idea of the master drawing and look at what qualities are necessary for a drawing to be described as such. The history of collecting and collectors' marks will also be explored. The exhibition will include compositions by Cuyp, Primaticcio, Guercino, Natoire, Boucher, Gainsborough, Francis Place and Frederic William Burton. An illustrated brochure will accompany the show.