Leaving Cert art: Students ‘blessed’ with array of popular topics

Ardagh Chalice, Georgian architecture and impressionists feature in ‘very nice’ paper

The Ardagh Chalice, which featured in the Leaving Cert art paper.

The Ardagh Chalice, which featured in the Leaving Cert art paper.


Leaving Cert art students were “thrilled” with a paper that featured many of the most popular areas of study, say teachers.

Clodagh O’Hara, Teachers’ Union of Ireland subject representative, said: “They were blessed. Students were thrilled coming out of the exam hall - that was the general consensus.”

She said the very first question on the Stone Age era was particualrly welcome because it is one of the first areas of the course that students study.

“They were very well versed in this and Newgrange. Anyone who revised and studied well would have been delighted with it,” said Ms O’Hara, a teacher at St Patrick’s Comprehensive School, Shannon, Co Clare.

Similarly, the appearance of the Ardagh Chalice and Irish stone crosses from the 12th century were a welcome addition for most students.

Georgian architecture featured with students asked to name a building by either Edward Lovett Pearce or James Gandon and to discuss its architectural features.

“They were very happy with that. Students would be familiar in paticular with Gandon’s Four Courts and the Customs House,” Ms O’Hara said,

She said the selection of Irish artists was “very nice”, ranging from Walter Osborne in the 1800s right up to the 20th century with the appearance of Robert Ballagh.

The European art section also featured popular subjects such as Romanesque architecture and the work of Leonardo da Vinci.

“Students were thrilled with that. Again, they’re well-versed in these areas and it gave them plenty of scope.”

The appearance of impressionist artists such as Turner and Degas also met with the approval of students.

“This is an area students really tend to revise, so they were very happy with that.”

The appreciation of art section was also a hit, especially a question which asked students to write about an animated movie that “captures elements of the real world and transports the viewer into another reality.”

“It wasn’t a prescribed movie, so students had the chance to talk about anything that appealed to them,” she said.

Ms O’Hara said the ordinary level was also very approachable and featured popular areas of the course such as Da Vinci.

Try this one at home:

- Leaving Cert art, higher level

Q. Name, describe and discuss two different types of Stone Ag e monument found in Ireland.

Refer in your answer to the form, function and construction techniques of each of the examples you have chosen.


Briefly describe and discuss what you know about the communities that created these stone monuments.

Illustrate your answer.