Glendalough has been drawn, etched and sketched many, many times but one lady captured the beauty of this valley during the mid-twentieth century in remarkable watercolours.
Edith Gladys Wynne was born in Holywood, Co. Tyrone in 1876. She was the fourth surviving daughter of Archdeacon George Wynne and Nell Wynne (nee Smith). Her father was the vicar in Holywood but the family moved to Aghadoe, Killarney in 1882, when Gladys was six.
Her father wrote a book called Evening Chimes (which appears to have been published by SPCK in 1910) and this may help the reader understand her life as a small child in a late 19th C. Irish parson’s home.
Gladys spent a large portion of her life living in Lake Cottage at Glendalough, Co. Wicklow. She lived close to her cousin May Wynne who resided in the much larger house known as The Cottage.
She painted landscapes around Glendalough extensively throughout her career. She also painted other subjects including the Bog of Allen, Dublin’s city and coastline and Donegal landscapes.
Gladys was a member of the Watercolour Society of Ireland and exhibited with them in The Hall on Molesworth Street in Dublin.
She died on March 24th, 1968 and is buried in Derrylossary Graveyard not far from her beloved Glendalough. The inscription on her headstone reads: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills” Psalm 121.
For more on the life and family of Glady’s Wynne, click here. Images appear courtesy of Whyte’s and Ross’s Auction houses, Dublin. Image of Gladys Wynne Courtesy of the Parsons Family website.
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