thought this exegesis of the painting was fascinating . hope you all enjoy it and think about it when next you visit the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin and look at this painting
By Jim Slaven
In 1884 Aloysius O’Kelly’s Mass in a Connemara Cabin became the only painting of an Irish subject ever to be exhibited at the prestigious Paris Salon. In subsequent years it was also exhibited and well received in London and New York before vanishing at the end of the nineteenth century. The painting remained missing for 100 years before turning up, mysteriously, hidden in the priests house of my local parish, St Patrick’s in Edinburgh’s Cowgate. The mystery of O’Kelly’s chef-d’oeuvre missing century is entirely in keeping with the mystery of the painter himself.
Aloysius O’Kelly and his family were steeped in revolutionary politics. His three brothers, James, Stephen and Charles were all Fenians (and artists) and his sister Julia married into the family of James Stephens, founder of the Irish Republican Brotherhood. Following the failed Rising of 1867 his…
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