A life-size figure of a blind harper created for a private collection in Chicago.

This sculpture is loosely based on Turlough O’Carolan. As a travelling mistral it was often a politeness to play the harp belonging to the owners of the grand house he was visiting – as with the well know harp at Clonalis House. The Chicago collection where the sculpture is installed also houses a magnificent Egan Harp, taking artistic license Gillespie decided to depict him playing this harp, fully aware that it did not come into existence till many years after Carolan’s death. The sculpture was inspired by the painting  A Portrait of Carolan  by J.C.Timbrell, 1844 which is also in the same collection.

carolan-harp-painting

 

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