Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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The chancel in St. Paul’s Aran Quay is closely modelled on St. Mary’s Moorfields in London. As with that church, it was originally supplied with a large fresco of the Crucifixion on the wall behind the High Altar. The Crucifixion was replaced in 1862 by a copy of of one of Rubens compositions on the conversion of St. Paul. This copy was executed by F. S. Barff of Dublin – who provided glass for the East window of St Catherine’s Meath Street.

The bad news is that the original, dating from 1616/1617, was destroyed in the burning of the Flakturm in Friedrickshain in 1945. Ante 1806, it belonged to the collection of the Marquis de Montesquieu. It was sold by Philips in London in 1806 for A. Delehante and by Philips in London for Hasting-Elwin in 1810 where oit was bought by G. Harris who sold it to R. Harte-Davies. It was again sold at auction, by Christies, in 1884 for Sir Philip Miles of Leigh Court near Bristol, and again in 1899 where it was bought by on Agnew. It was with Sedelmyer in Paris in 1901 where it was bough by W. von Bode for the Imperial German government. Friedlaender maintains that it was in large measure the work of Ruben’s bottega and that in this picture Rubens re-worked an Italian mannerist idea deriving from Zuccari or Salviati. So, the Dublin copy is more significant than might be imagined and greater care should be taken of it.

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