|1. Symposia / Historical Safaris
2. Heritage Campuses
6. Human History
is Clare Island ?
|THE ABBEY WALL-PAINTINGS
(click on the dragon for a detailed description)
The abbey contains extremely rare wall and
ceiling paintings. Only three other examples of wall paintings still exist in Ireland.
There has yet to be any comprehensive,
scientific dating of the paintings.They fall within the rather wide time-scale of 14th to
15th century. They are unique as paintings within the Cistercian context.
The mother house of the Clare Island abbey,
Abbey Knockmoy, also has extant paintings. These are of a type which are typical through
out Europe between the 14th and 15th centuries. It is both the style and the subject
matter which make the Clare Island paintings so important and so delightful.
The Cistercian order did not believe in
decoration. Cistercians were austere and disciplined in their pursuit of God and
spirituality. The excesses of earlier orders, especially the Dominicaans, were frowned
That the paintings in Clare island are
exuberant and are most entirely devoid of religious content suggest the Irish-ness and
indeed, Clare Island-ness of the monks and whoever were the artists paid little heed to
the official doctrine.