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WORK OF THE WEEK | 21 January 2019

CAG.102 Harry Clarke, St Agnes Roundel (Design for the Eve of St Agnes window), c.1923, pencil, watercolour, and gouache on paper, diameter 17 cm. Purchased, the Artist, 1924 (Gibson Bequest Fund).

Turn your Blue Monday into ‘a revel in blue’ with this gorgeous piece from the inimitable Harry Clarke!

St Agnes Roundel is one of eighteen exquisite watercolours in our collection that trace the artist’s design for his masterpiece, The Eve of St Agnes window (1924).

This study depicts the young St Agnes seated in a near lotus position (padmasana), which suggests the artist was looking to both Eastern and Western sources. She bears the palm of martyrdom in her left hand while, on her lap, she carries a holy book and her attribute, a lamb. The saint’s name is derived from the Greek hagnē, meaning chaste or pure, and is phonetically similar to agnus, the Latin word for lamb.

Did you know: St Agnes of Rome (c.291-c.304) was martyred at the age of thirteen and is the patron saint of virgins, rape victims, engaged couples, and Girl Scouts. Today is her feast day.

See this work in DREAMING IN BLUE: Harry Clarke Watercolours, which runs until 14 February 2019 in our Modern Galleries (Floor 2).

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