The Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin resembles an iconic Irish symbol… the harp
Cláirseach = Harp
The harp and Celtic harp music has been an important emblem of Irish nationalism since the 10th Century. King Griffith of Wales employed harpists in his court at the end of the 11th century. By the end of the 12th century, manuscript illustrations show harps with more advanced designs. The Irish were by then playing harps with brass, or bronze, strings.
Records from the 15th century show that both the terms "harp" and "clarsach" were in use at about the same time and seemed to have been a distinction between gut-strung European-style harps and wire-strung Gaelic clarsachs of Scotland and Ireland.
The earliest surviving harps from Scotland and Ireland date to about the 15th century. The Trinity College harp, one of Ireland's national treasures, is the harp from which the national symbol of Ireland is copied. The characteristic shape of an Irish Harp is familiar from Irish coins and bottles of Guiness Beer. Henry VIII of England had the Irish harp impressed on coins after obtaining control over Ireland. For centuries, the harp was an integral part of Irish life.
During English rule in Ireland playing of the harp as a folk and court instrument was suppressed to prevent a resurgence of nationalism. Harps were burnt and harpers executed.
By the late 18th century it was clear that traditional Irish harpers were practically non-existent . Harp music had always been handed down orally, very little of it has been preserved. The most important attempt to save the music was made in 1792. In order to encourage and preserve the old harping tradition, a festival was held in Belfast and newspaper advertisements invited all Irish harpers to come and play for cash prizes. Only ten harpers, ranging in age from fifteen to ninety seven, could be found.
Here is a larger version
A landscape view of the bridge can be seen Here
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2013. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system
Critiques | Translate
lousat (95942) 2013-10-29 0:53
Hi Rosemary,you builth a beautiful metaphore,in effect this brigde details remember a lot an harp,great idea and fantastic quality,the best exposure to create the best contrast whit the blue sky,fantastic details too.Have a nice day and thanks,Luciano
Noel_Byrne (33090) 2013-10-29 1:04
A lovely idea to focus on this part of the bridge, it reenforces the idea of the design being that of a harp, and it creates a unique and cool shot. I've never seen this place captured like this before, so great idea altogether.
Very interesting note on the history of the harp and its importance to Ireland too, cheers! Looking at that blue sky, I can safely say you were blessed with the weather on your visit, and it makes such a difference to the shots, this white on blue is very striking.
macjake (71067) 2013-10-29 1:18
wow, what a note!
Just goes to show how important a well written and researched note can add to the photo and to the overall experience of the viewer.
I had no idea this bridge was actually a harp, or is harp inspired. and i also had no idea the harp played such a key role in Irish History. amazing.
to be honest, i enjoy the landscape view of the bridge more, but don't get me wrong - I like this one too. they are entirely differnent photographs with 2 distinct and different purposes.
wonderful post from Ireland, I will now never forget the history of this bridge!
olive224 (2719) 2013-10-29 1:48
Nice and original presentation of this bridge. I like the diagonals a lot
subhendu_bagchi (26089) 2013-10-29 1:59
wow! It is a superb one. The harp looking bridge construction is looking great with its graphical textures and stands really well with the backdrop of deep blue sky. Interesting composition. Great effect. Very well done. Tfs.
krzychu30 (15512) 2013-10-29 2:12
that´s simply brilliant!for many reasons.The first is the perspective.The second thing is the color contrast.The bridge against so lovel,blue sky create really expressive visual effect!
And the last thing-the bridge reminds me Katehaki bridge in Athens designed also by Santiago Calatrava.
Great architect and your vision of this bridge is as creative as his work.
Creative and artistic shot!
Wish You a nice day
Royaldevon (41857) 2013-10-29 2:51
I love the simple details of this shot, especially the way the lines take opposing diagonals yet without actually being on the diagonals! I hope that makes some kind of sense! Too much alcohol in Scotland has left me a bit inarticulate!!
A really special aspect is the shading on the wires! It adds so much to the effect!
Have a lovely day,
annjackman (21901) 2013-10-29 3:06
A simple and dramatic image of this bridge and I can certainly see the similarity to a harp. I love the silvery and white sahpes against a perfect sky. Your note is just as interesting as your picture - very well done.
Kind Regards, Ann
holmertz (57465) 2013-10-29 5:07
The bridge is very elegantly designed and you have zoomed into a fine detail which has been given a life of its own through this close-up. The harp is clearly visible but I could also see this as an interesting composition of diagonals and a curve of white and black on a blue background,
snunney (104799) 2013-10-29 5:11
Perfect framing to capture this harp like structure and create a wonderful graphical image. Perfectly exposed and making excellence use of that superb sky as a backdrop. Thanks for sharing.
timecapturer (49288) 2013-10-29 5:18
a delightfully crafted shot of this famous harp bridge. Love the diagonals and clear blue sky. You certainly were lucky with the weather on your Irish travels. Beautifully graceful and elegant image.
Regards - Brian
Can I just say a big thank you to all who were concerned about us southern Englanders during the recent coming of St Jude (the storm). Despite being a bit scary with the wind howling around the house sounding like an approaching train; thankfully I survived as did the huge tree that sits outside my property. Although tempted did not venture out with the camera though, we were advised to stay in unless really necessary. B.
Sergiom (86105) 2013-10-29 5:23
Du très beau travail de composition. J'aime beaucoup la diagonale que forme le bras principal dans l'image, la légèreté des fils de fer qui le soutiennent et le ciel impeccable comme arrière plan.
delpeoples (59440) 2013-10-29 5:23
Hi dear Rosemary
Oh yeah, this is part of the harp! What an inventive POV you've used here. The graphism is wonderful and I love the strong contrast of azure blue sky and the white tones of the bridge. It's an amazing bridge, isn't it? Very artistic and impressive. nice work.
Thanks for sharing, have a lovely day
Highmountains (2674) 2013-10-29 6:07
Very Interesting photograph. It is a clear and simple capture of a part of a bridge. The flat blue background makes the viewer concentrate on the bridge itself.
The notes clarify that it was build to resemble the harp and this justifies the photographers choice of focusing on a portion of it, instead of the whole bridge.
The notes are very informative and it has been a learning.
Thanks for sharing, Rosemary.
janraiski (558) 2013-10-29 6:25
very strong photo, perfect composition, nice color contrast. I really like it, I looked at it for long time with interest and pleasure.
John_F_Kennedy (43763) 2013-10-29 7:15
Beautiful architecture shot with many details. Amazing perspective. Really impressive photo.
Kugart (1778) 2013-10-29 7:17
Excellent crop of the Samuel Beckett Bridge in Dublin. The simple diagonal lines emanating from the curved structure set against a perfect blue sky is just superb. Love it.
rogerl (1632) 2013-10-29 7:19
Rosemary, what a wonderful and unusual point of view on this bridge. I'm glad you posted the landscape view, or I would never have understood how this photo was taken. In the end, it's a lovely geometric shot with perfect clarity --- and what a sky! Are you sure this was Ireland?
rychem (40738) 2013-10-29 8:47
What a graphical photo, it looks really like a harp, excellent bicolored photo,
williewhistler (16412) 2013-10-29 10:00
Hello Rosemary,what a clever composition this is,you have used the diagonal corners ever so well to create a most imaginative image with lots of interest and drama,a fine note completes a really lovely upload.
Kind regards Les.
Romano46 (18472) 2013-10-29 10:54
solo l'azzurro intenso e poche linee che solcano il cielo per fare una foto fantastica nella quale la composizione e gli oggetti che vi compaiono possono essere interpretati a piacimento.
Un'idea geniale che hai realizzato con la tua solita cura dei dettagli ed il risultato è straordinario.
Ciao e buona serata
dekanski (5908) 2013-10-29 11:31
I recognized a detail from one of your earlier photos on TE, and perhaps because of this, although the composition is interesting, especially with such a beautiful sky in the background, somehow it is out of balance to me.
But, the idea is excellent, even better realization.
marabu61 (11229) 2013-10-29 12:37
The harp is a wonderful instrument indeed and plays an important role in traditional irish folk music. I always enjoyed the performance of a good harp player in a musical pup.
The harp pictured here gives us a strong graphical image and the bridge does resembles a harp. The blue of the sky is amazing and suits the white bridge perfectly.
have a great day
jcpix (13930) 2013-10-29 19:03
Anything with an abundance of blue will grab my attention, but this would have regardless of the color. I've seen this pictured before, but this is a first of its kind...and one that intrigues the visual senses with an inquiry as to what it could be. The long, sleek, slightly curved "bow" is well placed for the most impact and allows the "strings" to be a key factor in contrasting direction. Simple, elegant, well thought out and pin sharp. I really like this creative approach, and the positive feedback would certainly support the effort. :) Impressive! Have a great day ahead. Take care.
jjcordier (79297) 2013-10-29 23:45
Un cadrage très intéressant pour cette photo bicolore très graphique.
EstudioChispa (2178) 2013-10-31 11:32
I'm late to the party here, but let me add my voice -- THIS IS A FANTASTIC IMAGE! You have captured perfectly the designer's reference to the Harp, and my, oh my, what a fantastic sky blue. Hat's off to you!
Angshu (56760) 2013-11-01 0:36
Indeed when I saw the wider picture you posted in the WS, I saw the similarity with the harp. But having seen both shots, I will go with this framing, not only because its more 'adventurous' but also takes away the distraction of the building behind it. The clear blue sky was a huge bonus! Fine work!
mkamionka (39537) 2013-11-01 9:26
very attractive geometrically composition. This bridge is so pretty indeed that it encourages to spend around it a while trying to find some nice perspectives at it.
I got finally some blue hour shot which I have posted here a while ago but I struggled a bit before that.
This one is beautiful in its simplicity,
very well done,
Have a great weekend,
emka (104268) 2013-11-06 23:45
Hi Rosemary, fantastic shot, here the blue sky was essential. Splendid composition, it reminds me a bit similar view from Calatrava center in Valencia.
I go to Dublin only for a one day trip from Liverpool, just to be in Ireland and to see the most important places. We have cheap flights from Warsaw so maybe another time I will go for a bit longer to see more of the green country.
Warm regrads Malgo
Warm regrads Malgo