Our story begins when in 1970, Canadian, Graham Gordon climbed through the window of a derelict castle in Ireland, this Castle.
The floors were strewn with debris, rotting furniture and broken glass — a seat of power now long forgotten and lost in a deep primordial oak wood in the middle of Ireland. Light was streaming in through a broken shutter, casting rays across a giant room of intricate ornate design. There towering over Gordon hung a giant 10 foot by 20 foot grimy gilt frame encasing a gutted dark leather-like material. Gordon having felt sympathy for the falling heap of a castle instantly became determined to save this giant painting.
The owner gladly sold the painting to Gordon and the painting was carted off on the back of the tractor never to be seen again. Or so we thought?
There has always been the story of the missing painting — and sketch of it on the wall was discovered many years back — we searched and searched …
David Hicks the author of a book that is being published by Collins Press in September 2012 and features Charleville Forest Castle visited the castle in October 2011 and spoke to Dudley Stewart and shared his research with him about the Boydell painting fully restored at the Beaverbrook Museum in Canada. This was excellent and more information on David’s book can be found at http://www.collinspress.ie/irish-country-houses.html
In January of this year it . This is when we became determined to return an exact reproduction of this great painting to Charleville castle.
In Phase 1 we got permission from the owner. Phase two was the most challenging and we decided that if we could succeed with this phase we could seek funding to complete the return of King Henry to Charleville Castle. We were lucky when we found Arthur. Arthur had honed his skills in Poland before taking on this project to prove his high capability. Since then the reproduction has been completed and the canvas is rolled away – awaiting funding to complete the last phase — this involves the stretching of the canvas 20 foot by 10 foot in the great Dining Room of the castle and it’s mounting in a gilt frame on the wall where it had hung before for many , many years.
This project which once seemed impossible to achieve is now within our reach. The €4,000 we need will cover the final recreation of the painting measuring 10ft x 20ft across. This includes:
* The printing of the replica of King Henry 8th at the baptism of the future Queen Elizabeth 1st
* The construction of a fitting frame, similar to the original frame.
* The stretching of the huge canvas and mounting of it within this frame.
We sincerely thank you for considering supporting our cause! With your help it will be open to the public.
To Help the cause, click here
RTE Article 9th July 2012