Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Who is 'Missing Madonna'?

The Diary has been given images of two paintings of Kilcullen from the early part of the last century which are a wonderful record of the town in that era.

The paintings are in the possession of John Murphy who lives in London, and whose father was born and raised in Milemill and moved to the English capital in 1938.


They are works by John's great-uncle Richard Murphy, who was apparently a popular local artist here at the time. He died in 1945.

John has two queries, the first of which is when the works were painted? Don't be codded by the spire on the church; clearly Richard Murphy had sight of the original plans which did incorporate a spire that was never built.

The view which includes the church clearly shows the existence of the weir, and the mill stream outlet that took water back to the river after being used for powering the mill which used to be there.


On the other picture, painted from the perspective of what is today The Valley park, the detail in the number and style of shopfronts may be a clue to the date.

murphymadonnacor.jpgThe other mystery is a little more exotic. John Murphy found a painting of a beautiful woman in classic Greek or Roman mode on the back of one of the Kilcullen paintings.

He has dubbed the woman the 'Missing Madonna' and wonders who she might have been?

If anyone has any clues, let us know and we will forward them to John.

Brian Byrne.