Tuesday 26 July 2016

Aloha! Brian Boru painting is home from Hawaii

Brian Byrne

Published 05/04/2014 | 02:30

The painting by Hugh Frazer features in many books on Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf and is now owned by Kildare Partners who have made it available for the commemorations.
The painting by Hugh Frazer features in many books on Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf and is now owned by Kildare Partners who have made it available for the commemorations.

IT WAS quite a squeeze, but a large painting depicting the most iconic scene from the Battle of Clontarf has gone on display inside the country's most famous miniature building.

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After a long stint in the US, the painting by artist Hugh Frazer is back in Ireland for the millennium anniversary of the famous battle.

It measures three metres by two metres and depicts Irish king Brian Boru overlooking the battle as it stretches to Howth, Co Dublin. It had been on display at the Isaac Art Centre in Hawaii since the 1990s before being carefully moved 11,300km to its new home at the Casino at Marino in Dublin as part of the 2014 Battle of Clontarf celebrations.

The painting was completed in 1826, and had remained in Ireland until American philanthropist George Isaac purchased it 35 years ago.

Mr Isaac, who has Irish roots, donated the painting to the Isaacs Art Centre, where it was displayed since the 1990s.

The festival committee contacted the centre with hopes of acquiring permission to display a replica, but were shocked when private equity firm Kildare Partners purchased the painting and agreed to let them display it in the Casino.

The festival committee feared they would have to remove doors, windows or even the roof of the tiny architectural monument, which overlooks the very site of the battle, in order to get the painting inside.

However, handlers managed to squeeze the painting through a series of doors and hang it in one of the rooms, where it will remain until April 24 following the 1,000 year anniversary of the battle, which took place on April 23, 1014.

Minister of State Brian Hayes commended the effort made in returning the nearly 200-year-old painting to Ireland.

"It is great to see the effort that was made in getting the Battle of Clontarf painting back to Ireland after 35 years out of the country. The Battle of Clontarf is one of the most significant events in our history books," he said.

It is on free display seven days a week from 10am to 5pm until midday on Thursday April 24.

The Battle of Clontarf was a battle for the control of Dublin between Boru and forces led by the King of Leinster, Máel Mórda mac Murchada.

The battle ended with the death of Boru while Ireland returned to a fractured state with power shared by many separate kingdoms.

Irish Independent

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