The Baptism of St. Patrick panel was part of six pieces that were submitted by Harry Clarke for the 1912 National Competition in South Kensington (Bowe: 1994). The Godhead Enthroned and the Meeting of St. Brendan with the Unhappy Judas had been submitted, along with a small coloured design for a stained glass window, a full-sized cartoon for the Baptism of St. Patrick, and the stained glass panel that was based on a section of the cartoon’s design.
The Baptism of St. Patrick panel depicts St. Patrick surrounded by his disciples. St. Patrick is clothed in rich green and golden robes and his eyes are downcast. In the upper central section there is a large tapestry depicted with golden fringes. When Harry completed this panel he was a student of stained glass at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art. The six exhibits won Harry the only gold medal awarded to Ireland, and the judges made special note of the originality of Harry’s work. The panel also won first prize in the annual Art Industries held at the Royal Dublin Society (RDS) in August 1913.
Bowe, N. Gordon, The Life and Work of Harry Clarke, Irish Academic Press, 1994
Photos Michael Cullen 2009 and Text by Lucy Costigan 2009