Harry Clarke was an Irish artist whose brilliance was most completely captured in the medium of stained glass. His creations were radical departures from traditional glasswork. Unlike the sober, didactic stained glass art which had adorned church windows for centuries, Clarke’s pieces possessed a depth of color and fluidity of motion which set an entirely new standard for the genre.
Clark’s choice of subject matter was daring and often controversial. His depiction of executed IRA volunteer, Kevin Barry, ringed by blue flames, and ascending into a series of panels paying homage to 2000 years of Irish rebellion is particularly powerful.
His masterpiece, the “Geneva Window” features scenes from the works of several Irish writers, including James Joyce and Liam O’Flaherty who had been condemned in Ireland by the hyper-moralistic Free State clergy. As a result, the Geneva Window was never publicly displayed during Clarke’s lifetime, but now occupies a prominent place in a gallery in Miami, Florida.