The 12 Most Famous Artworks at The National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland is home to an impressive collection of artworks, spanning various periods and genres. From stunning landscapes to captivating portraits, the gallery boasts a diverse range of masterpieces that have captivated art enthusiasts for generations. In this article, we will explore the 12 most famous artworks at The National Gallery of Ireland, delving into their dimensions, location, creation date, genre, medium, and period.

1. “The Meeting on the Turret Stairs” by Frederic William Burton

Dimensions: 47cm x 35.5cm
Location: Room 4
Created: 1864
Genre: Romanticism
Medium: Watercolor
Period: Victorian

“The Meeting on the Turret Stairs” is one of the most iconic artworks in The National Gallery of Ireland. Painted by Frederic William Burton in 1864, this watercolor masterpiece depicts a poignant moment from a Danish ballad, showcasing a forbidden love story. The delicate brushwork and subtle use of color create a dreamlike atmosphere, evoking a sense of longing and melancholy. The artwork is located in Room 4 of the gallery and has become an enduring symbol of romantic love.

2. “The Taking of Christ” by Caravaggio

Dimensions: 133.5cm x 169.5cm
Location: Room 12
Created: 1602
Genre: Baroque
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Counter Reformation

Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ” is a captivating piece that exemplifies the artist’s mastery of light and shadow. Painted in 1602 during the Baroque period, the artwork depicts the biblical scene of Jesus Christ being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. The use of chiaroscuro, a technique that emphasizes the contrast between light and dark, adds a sense of drama and intensity to the painting. Located in Room 12, this masterpiece showcases Caravaggio’s innovative approach to creating compelling narrative artworks.

3. “The Eve of St. Agnes” by Harry Clarke

Dimensions: 20cm x 25.5cm
Location: Room 9
Created: 1923-1924
Genre: Symbolism
Medium: Stained glass
Period: Art Nouveau

Harry Clarke’s “The Eve of St. Agnes” is a stunning example of stained glass artistry. This piece was created between 1923 and 1924 and depicts scenes from John Keats’ poem of the same name. The intricate details and vibrant colors create a mesmerizing visual experience, transporting viewers to the enchanted realm of the poem. Located in Room 9, this stained glass artwork represents the harmonious blend of Symbolism and Art Nouveau, showcasing the artist’s exceptional talent and craftsmanship.

4. “Portrait of a Woman” by Thomas Lawrence

Dimensions: 93.2cm x 73.7cm
Location: Room 12
Created: 1790-1815
Genre: Portrait
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Regency

Thomas Lawrence’s “Portrait of a Woman” is a captivating example of the artist’s ability to capture the essence and character of his subjects. Painted between 1790 and 1815 during the Regency period, this portrait showcases Lawrence’s mastery of technique and his ability to convey a sense of elegance and refinement. The beautifully executed details, such as the fine fabric of the woman’s dress and the soft lighting, highlight the artist’s attention to detail. This remarkable artwork can be found in Room 12 of The National Gallery of Ireland.

5. “La Parisienne” by Roderic O’Conor

Dimensions: 55.9cm x 46cm
Location: Room 5
Created: 1904
Genre: Impressionism
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Belle Époque

Roderic O’Conor’s “La Parisienne” demonstrates the artist’s deep admiration for Impressionism. Painted in 1904 during the Belle Époque period, this artwork portrays a Parisian woman amid a swirl of vibrant colors. O’Conor employs loose brushstrokes and a vibrant palette to evoke a sense of movement and light. The painting can be found in Room 5, where it serves as a testament to the artist’s exploration of new artistic techniques and styles.

6. “The Taking of Jerusalem by Heracles” by Francisco de Zurbarán

Dimensions: 134cm x 106.5cm
Location: Room 12
Created: 1635-1639
Genre: History painting
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Spanish Golden Age

Francisco de Zurbarán’s “The Taking of Jerusalem by Heracles” is a striking representation of a biblical scene. Painted between 1635 and 1639 during the Spanish Golden Age, this artwork showcases the artist’s meticulous attention to detail and his ability to convey a sense of grandeur and drama. The rich color palette and intricate composition draw viewers into the scene, where they can witness Heracles’ conquest. This masterpiece is located in Room 12, offering visitors a glimpse into a pivotal moment in biblical history.

7. “The Meeting of Saint Brendan and the Angel” by John Lavery

Dimensions: 101.6cm x 152.4cm
Location: Room 4
Created: 1914-1919
Genre: Landscape
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Early 20th century

John Lavery’s “The Meeting of Saint Brendan and the Angel” is an enchanting landscape painting that captures a mythical encounter. Painted between 1914 and 1919, this masterpiece portrays Saint Brendan, an Irish monk, meeting an angel in a vast and breathtaking landscape. The skillful use of light and the rich color palette create a sense of otherworldliness. Located in Room 4, this artwork showcases Lavery’s ability to capture the beauty and awe-inspiring nature of the Irish landscape.

8. “An Autumn Evening, Clifden” by Paul Henry

Dimensions: 94.6cm x 129.5cm
Location: Room 11
Created: 1929
Genre: Landscape
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Early 20th century

Paul Henry’s “An Autumn Evening, Clifden” is a captivating landscape painting that showcases the artist’s affinity for capturing the essence of the Irish countryside. Painted in 1929 during the early 20th century, this artwork depicts a serene autumn evening in Clifden, a picturesque town in County Galway. The subtle play of light and shadow, along with Henry’s meticulous attention to detail, immerses viewers in the tranquil beauty of the scene. This masterpiece can be found in Room 11 of The National Gallery of Ireland.

9. “Homage to George Barker” by Louis le Brocquy

Dimensions: 142cm x 137cm
Location: Room 10
Created: 1961
Genre: Figurative
Medium: Oil on canvas
Period: Contemporary

Louis le Brocquy’s “Homage to George Barker” is a powerful figurative artwork that pays tribute to the renowned poet. Created in 1961 during the contemporary period, this painting captures the essence of Barker’s artistry through a haunting depiction. The expressive brushwork and monochromatic color palette add to the overall intensity of the piece. Located in Room 10, this artwork reflects le Brocquy’s ability to convey deep emotion and the human condition through his paintings.

10. “A Halt in the Wicklow Mountains” by William Frederick Wakeman

Dimensions: 17.5cm x 29.5cm
Location: Room 9
Created: 1868
Genre: Landscape
Medium: Watercolor
Period: Victorian

William Frederick Wakeman’s “A Halt in the Wicklow Mountains” is a stunning watercolor painting that captures the tranquility of the Irish landscape. Created in 1868 during the Victorian period, this artwork depicts a picturesque scene of a horse-drawn carriage stopping in the Wicklow Mountains. The delicate brushwork and subtle use of color create a sense of serenity and natural beauty. This masterpiece can be found in Room 9, providing viewers with a glimpse into the peacefulness of the Irish countryside.

11. “The Fawn” by Édouard Lanteri

Dimensions: 123cm x 56cm
Location: Room 15
Created: 1886
Genre: Sculpture
Medium: Bronze
Period: Victorian

Édouard Lanteri’s “The Fawn” is a magnificent bronze sculpture that captures the grace and elegance of the natural world. Created in 1886 during the Victorian period, this piece portrays a young fawn in a moment of stillness and serenity. The intricate details and the artist’s ability to bring the sculpture to life make it a captivating artwork. Located in Room 15, “The Fawn” showcases Lanteri’s exceptional skill as a sculptor.

12. “Saint George and the Dragon” by Paolo Uccello

Dimensions: 47cm x 26.3cm
Location: Room 56
Created: 1456
Genre: Renaissance
Medium: Tempera on panel
Period: Early Renaissance

Paolo Uccello’s “Saint George and the Dragon” is an iconic Renaissance artwork, depicting the legendary tale of Saint George slaying the dragon. Created in 1456, this small tempera painting showcases Uccello’s skill in capturing movement and the narrative within a confined space. Located in Room 56, this masterpiece serves as a testament to Uccello’s ability to create visually stunning and dynamic artworks.

Visiting The National Gallery of Ireland provides a unique opportunity to engage with these renowned artworks and experience the diverse range of styles, genres, and periods showcased within the gallery’s walls. Whether one is drawn to the dreamlike quality of Frederic William Burton’s “The Meeting on the Turret Stairs” or the theatricality of Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ,” each artwork offers a glimpse into the artist’s world and their creative vision.

By exploring the dimensions, location, creation date, genre, medium, and period of these 12 famous artworks, it becomes evident how The National Gallery of Ireland houses an exceptional collection that spans centuries and showcases artistic brilliance. As you wander through the gallery’s various rooms, make sure to take the time to appreciate these masterpieces and discover the stories behind them.

Sources:
– The National Gallery of Ireland official website: www.nationalgallery.ie
– National Gallery of Ireland Collections online database: www.nationalgallery.ie/collections
– Art UK: www.artuk.org
– Museum Crush: www.museumcrush.org