La Petite Morphise by Norman Mongan

Marie-Louise O’Morphy was her name. An exquisite beauty, she beguiled three famous 18th century Parisians: notorious lothario Giacomo Casanova, who discovered her; France’s leading artist François Boucher, whose sensual nude immortilised her, and a bedazzled Louis XV, whose mistress she became, bearing him a royal daughter.

Over two centuries later, Boucher’s celebrated nude has undergone a  metamorphosis  to become Michael Farrell’s controversial modern masterpiece, Madonna Irlanda, a vibrant symbol of Ireland’s turbulent history.