7 May 2009
George Holmes (fl.1789-1843)
Rathfarnham Castle, Co. Dublin: The Principal Front; and The West Elevation
one signed 'G Holmes' (lower left); and one signed and dated 'G Holmes/1794' (lower centre)
watercolour; the first with pen and grey ink
17 x 22 1/8 in. (43.2 x 56.2 cm.); and slightly smaller (2)
Anonymous sale; Christie's London, 15 November 1988, lot 14.
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Crookshank & Glin, The Watercolours of Ireland, 1994, pp. 128-9, pl. 162.
Laffan, Painting Ireland, 2006, pp. 220-2, pls. 152 and 153.
Rathfarnham Castle was built during the late 16th Century as a strong fortified house by Adam Loftus, Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of Dublin (c.1533-1605), but was remodelled in the Georgian style by the architect Sir William Chambers (1723-1796) under the patronage of Loftus' descendent Henry Loftus, Earl of Ely (1709-1783). The mullion windows were enlarged, a portico entrance was added, and the battlements were levelled and decorated with ornamental urns. A semi-circular extension was added to the west elevation with views across the park towards the Owendoher river. The interior was adorned with paintings by leading artists of the time including Angelica Kauffmann, R.A. (1741-1807).
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