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Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators

Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators

Patrick Hall (b.1935)

© Estate of Patrick Hall. All rights reserved

  • Artist
    Patrick Hall
  • Title
    Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  • Date
    2002
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Purchased by The Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo, from the Green on Red Gallery, Dublin, 2003
Description

Patrick Hall, a well established artist who has lived in London, Spain and Dublin moved to Sligo in the mid 1990s. He has described this experience as ‘moving upwards and inwards, into hills and mountains’. The large scale and expansive space of these paintings seem at some level to reflect the spaciousness of the Western landscape and coastline. The subject matter of both paintings and of much of Hall’s other work of recent years is drawn largely from the Bible, a book which Hall considers to be rather like a great painting. He has always been interested in biblical stories as a source of happiness and as a description of a world where emotional life is complete (1).

The two Niland paintings refer to this idea in that they depict incidents from the scriptures where the earthly sphere is united with the eternal spiritual world. In Jesus Walking on the Sea, the tiny figure of Jesus stands on tumultuous waves with the boat and apostles at some distance. The pattern and dark grey colour of the waves dominates the painting. Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectacular refers to the story of Jacob’s ladder, when Jacob rests for the night and dreams of a ladder reaching up to heaven with angels going up and down. Hall uses this tale as the basis for his extraordinary painting in which an earth red landscape with stone like forms is covered by lines of figures. The religious sources are used in a universal, metaphysical sense. Hall is not a religious artist. Rather he paints subjects drawn from religious texts in a childlike, uncomplicated way analogous to the way in which biblical stories are constructed and retold. But this simplicity belies the enormously profound ideas of mortality and immortality which both the Bible and Hall’s painting seek to convey. Hall’s approach calls into question the authority of religious beliefs and emphasizes the tenuousness of day to day existence by using simple forms to retell and re-imagine the familiar stories of the scriptures.

(1) Brian McAvera ‘Patrick Hall. Completing the Picture’, Irish Arts Review, Autumn 2007, 24, no.3, pp.68-71.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  2. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  5. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  7. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  8. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  9. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  11. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  14. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  15. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  17. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  19. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  21. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  22. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  23. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo