Irish Artist Directory

Margaret Clarke RHA (Irish Artist Directory)

Full Name: Margaret Clarke RHA

Lived: 1888 - 1961

Categories: Portraits, Genre

Artist Biography

Margaret Clarke was born and educated in Newry. In 1906 she was awarded a scholarship to the DMSA, where she became one of Orpen’s star pupils, and won many prizes. Her fellow students included Beatrice Glenavy, James Sleator, Kathleen Fox, Leo Whelan, Patrick Tuohy and Harry Clarke, whom she married in 1915. Margaret excelled at portrait painting. Her dispassionate, searching eye enabled her to reveal the deep nature, the “true self ” of the sitter, even when painting her own family. She was commissioned to paint many notable figures of the times, including Eamon De Valera, Dr. John Charles McQuaid and Dermod O’Brien (President of the RHA).

Strong-minded and independent, she particularly enjoyed the artistic and intellectual freedom of genre painting such as “The Ghost Sonate” (Ulster Museum)’ based on a play by Strindberg, or “Bathtime at the Creche” (National Gallery). Her outstanding ability as a draughtswoman can be appreciated in all her work. Like so many women artists she had to combine devotion to her career with the care of her family, and after Harry’s death, with much of the responsibility for the studios on a greatly reduced income. Genre paintings became a luxury rarely affordable. In later life she loved to paint delightful, simple vases of flowers or scenes from the Wicklow hills. She died in Dublin in 1961.

Margaret Clarke featured in 'Irish Women Artists: 1870-1970' exhibition (2014). Please click here for a link to the catalogue. 

Margaret Clarke Art Previously On Sale at Adam’s Auctioneers

Margaret Clarke RHA (1888-1961) Nude Oil on canvas, 63.5 x 76cm (25 x 30'') Exhibited: 'Margaret...

Hammer Price €21,000.00

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Margaret Clarke RHA (1888-1961) Portrait of the Artist Dermod O'Brien PRHA in his Studio Oil on c...

Hammer Price €11,000.00

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Margaret Clarke, RHA (1888 - 1961) Molly Oil on canvas, 76 x 56cm (30 x 22'') Exhibited: ''Margar...

Hammer Price €7,000.00

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Margaret Clarke RHA (1888-1961) Interior of room Oil on canvas, 51.5 x 41.5cm (20.5 x 16.25'') N...

Hammer Price €6,700.00

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Margaret Clarke RHA (1888-1961) Portrait of ?amon de Valera Oil on canvas, 50.5 x 40.5cm (20 x 16...

Hammer Price €6,500.00

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