The Pieta and Ascension: War Memorial (B)
St Brigid's Church of Ireland, Castleknock, Dublin 15. Window: 1, Number of Lights 4, Date 1919. Web
This four-light war memorial window is set in the back wall of the beautiful Presbyterian church of Clontarf. In 1919 the parishioners commissioned a window for their relatives who had been killed during the First World War.Harry Clarke created a coloured design for the window since his father, Joshua, was laid up after a fall. The studios made the window based on Harry’s design (Bowe: 1994). The main panels of the first light depict the dead Christ being cradled by Mary, his mother. An angel stands behind carrying a cross. Mary’s ashen face is encircled with a decorative white shawl. Jesus is partially wrapped in a white sheet. The lower panel depicts a beautiful golden-haired angel in a long blue robe and purple wings, administering to an injured soldier. The second light shows a golden-winged angel holding a chalice. Mary Magdalene, in magnificent crimson robes, sits below the angel, holding Christ’s feet. The lower light depicts a Christ-like figure holding a chalice, as a soldier lies dying. The main panels of the third light depict the risen Christ. At Christ’s feet a soldier lies sleeping at the tomb. The lower light depicts an angel in long white flowing robes and purple wings, praying over a dead soldier. Two coats of arms appear above the figure. The main panels of the fourth light portray an angel in beautiful ivory robes and golden wings, holding the stone that had covered the tomb. Mary Magdalene kneels beside the empty tomb, staring in amazement at the risen Christ. The lower light depicts a mother and child at a cemetery full of crosses. Two coats of arms appear above the figure.
Photos by © Michael Cullen (for prints/sales www.irishimages.org) - Text © by Lucy Costigan Bowe, N. Gordon, The Life and Work of Harry Clarke, Irish Academic Press, 1994