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    The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife

    Thursday, November 18th, 2010

    A detail from The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife at the National Gallery of Ireland, which is to be restored. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland (click to enlarge)

    The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife by Cork born historical painter Daniel Maclise (1806-1870) at the National Gallery of Ireland is to be restored.

    The work on one of the most popular paintings in the collection, viewed by around 750,000 people each year, is made possible through the generosity of the Art Conservation Fund of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

    The painting will undergo a preliminary technical examination with ultraviolet and infrared reflectography and radiography. This will enable conservators to investigate areas of over-painting, as well as any original under drawings and alterations to the composition. The Maclise painting, which presents extraordinary conservation challenges because of its size (317 x 515cm), requires a selection of structural treatments.

    Aoife, daughter of Dermot McMurrough, King of Leinster, married Richard de Clare, the 2nd Earl of Pembroke, known as Strongbow, in Waterford in 1170.  He was the leader of the Norman Invasion into Ireland.

    Dr. Brendan Rooney, Curator of Irish art at the National Gallery of Ireland, remarked: “Historical subjects of this kind are relatively rare in Irish art, and Cork-born Maclise’s technical ability was exceptional.