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Photographer's Note

Pictured here is my second post of the Murano Glass chandeliers at Castletown House in Celbridge County Kildare.

In this shot you can see two of the three chandeliers that hang over this room known as the Long Gallery.

Built between 1722 and 1727 for William Connolly, speaker of the Irish house of Commons. The façade of the houses design is of the Italian architect, Alessandro Galilei, while the large wings were added later by Edward Lovett Pearce.

This is regarded as one of the most important houses in Ireland and one of great significance in Europe's architectural history. It is the largest Palladian house in the country.

William Connolly died in 1724 while the house was still being built, and the final touches to the house were put on hold until Connolly's great nephew Thomas moved in, along with his 15 year old wife Louisa.

Louisa had a penchant for Italian aesthetics and design so she undertook much of the interior design of the house. She had the Long Gallery designed to suit her tastes. The walls of the room were painted with Pompeian scenes by two English artists, and three of these chandeliers were commissioned from Murano near Venice to match the new color scheme of the room. Although they are exquisite works, it is said that Louisa was disappointed when they arrived, as she claimed they were the wrong shade of blue.

The long gallery was a public room in this immense house, and is 80 feet long and 23 feet wide. The chandeliers are decorated with glass flowers of all kinds as well as a variety of glass fruits and berries.

This visit to the house was probably the one I have most enjoyed, as for the first time I have been, they were allowing photography inside. Normally, these great mansions in Ireland prohibit cameras, but as there was a modern art exhibition taking place, they allowed them on this occasion, which gave me the chance to take this shot.

When I took this shot, I was standing near the centre of the room, so to give an idea of size, it is almost twice the size of what can be seen here, with the third chandelier hanging behind me.

Murano Glass comes from the Venetian island of Murano which has throughout the centuries become famous for its glassworks. It is believed that Murano glass actually originated in Rome, but because of fear of fire among the cities mostly wooden structures, the foundries of the glassmakers were ordered to move to Murano in 1291. By the end of the 16th century, three thousand of Murano island's seven thousand inhabitants were involved in some way in the glassmaking industry.

Thanks for looking!

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Additional Photos by Noel Byrne (Noel_Byrne) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2468 W: 12 N: 5773] (20085)
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