Harry Clarke :Private Collector- Bluebeard’s Last Wife (1921)

Private Collector- Bluebeards Last Wife

Bluebeard’s Last Wife (1921)
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Bluebeard’s Last Wife (Panel, 1921)


Bluebeard’s last wife was bought by Albert Wood who had it mounted in a James Hick’s cabinet, made of walnut and tortoiseshell. The panel is illuminated by a light at the back of the cabinet (Bowe: 1994). The theme of Bluebeard’s last wife is based on the fairytale by the seventeenth century French author, Charles Perrault. It was a theme that Harry also illustrated for Perrault’s The Fairy Tales, published by Harrap in 1922.
The panel depicts the wife of Bluebeard dancing across a bridge, dressed in a blue oriental outfit. Bluebeard lies in wait under the bridge, his sword poised to strike. The panel is signed in the lower right border, Harry Clarke 1921.

Bowe, N. Gordon, The Life and Work of Harry Clarke, Irish Academic Press, 1994

Photo: Private Collection, Courtesy of Karen Reihill Fine Art

Text by Lucy Costigan 2009