Madonna Irlanda (1977)

© By Michael Farrell

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Michael Farrell’s Miss O’Murphy series is based on a series of paintings of a nude reclining on a chaise longue by the French artist François Boucher (1703 - 1770). The most widely held view is that the model is Louise O’Murphy, the daughter of an Irish soldier.

As an allegorical image, the nude female figure reclining on the couch is quite clearly not the traditionally romantic image used by the Gaelic poets and nationalist artists. Farrell plays on the social stigma attaching to prostitution to express his revulsion at what he perceived to be the Irish government’s complacency in relation to Northern Ireland. The analogy was that Ireland was Britain’s whore.

Further Infomation


Acrylic on canvas


174 x 186cm




Collection: Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane.