The National Gallery of Ireland (Irish: Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann ) houses the Irish national collection of Irish and European art. It is located in the center avDublin with one entrance on Merrion Square, beside Leinster House, and another on Clare Street. Due to ongoing renovations, the Clare Street entrance one hour. It was founded in 1854 and opened its doors ten years later. The gallery has an extensive, representative collection of Irish painting and is also known for its Italian Baroque ochholländska masters painting. The current director is Sean Rainbird. Admission is free.


1853 exhibition, the great industrial exhibition was held on the lawns of Leinster House in Dublin. Among the most popular exhibits was a substantial display of works of art organized and underwritten by the railway magnate William Dargan. The enthusiasm of the visiting crowds demonstrated publicly for the arts, and it was decided to establish a permanent public art collection as a lasting monument of gratitude to Dargan. The moving spirit behind the proposal was attorney John Edward Pigot (1822-1871), the son of David Richard Pigot, Chief Baron of the Irish Finance Minister, and he became one of the first councils in the gallery. [1]The facade copies the Natural History Museum building National Museum of Ireland that already was planned for the facing flank of Leinster House.The building was designed by Francis Fowke, based on early plans of Charles Lanyon and was completed and opened in 1864th

The gallery was unlucky not to have been founded around an existing collection, but through diligent and skillful purchase, when it opened had 125 paintings. [ Citation needed ] In 1866, an annual purchase grant was established in 1891 and the space is already limited. In 1897, the Dowager Countess of Milltown indicated her intention of donating the contents of Russborough House to the Gallery. This gift included about 223 paintings, 48 sculptures, 33 engravings, much silver, furniture and library, and prompted construction from 1899 to 1903 of what is now called the Milltown Wing, designed by Thomas Newenham Deane.

By this time Henry Vaughan left 31 watercolors by JMW Turner with the requirement that they could only be exhibited in January, this to protect them from the negative effects of sunlight. Though modern lighting technology has made this provision unnecessary, Gallery continues to restrict viewing of the Vaughan legacy to January and the exhibition is treated as something of an occasion.

Another significant heritage came with the untimely death in the sinking of the Lusitania of Hugh Lane (1875-1915), since 1914 director of the Gallery;not only did he leave a large collection of pictures, he also left a portion of their remaining property and the Lane Fund has continued to contribute to the purchase of works of art to this day. In addition to its commitment in the gallery Hugh Lane has also hoped to found a gallery of modern art, just something I realized after his death in Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.George Bernard Shaw also made a significant legacy, leave the gallery of royalty-third of his property in gratitude for the time he spent there as a youth.

The Gallery again was extended in 1962 with a new wing designed by Frank Duberry by the Office of Public Works. This opened in 1968 and is now named the Beit Wing. In 1978 the gallery received from the government the paintings given to the nation by Chester Beatty and in 1987 Sweeney Bequest brought fourteen works of art including paintings by Picasso and Jack B. Yeats. The same year the gallery is again considering some of the contents of Russborough House when Alfred Beit donated 17 masterpieces, including paintings by Velázquez, Murillo, Steen, Vermeer and Raeburn.

In the 1990s a lost Caravaggio, Judas Kiss , known through replicas, was discovered hanging in a Jesuit house of studies in Leeson Street in Dublin by Sergio Benedetti, senior conservator of the gallery. The Jesuits have generously allowed this painting to be exhibited in the gallery, and the discovery was the cause of national excitement. The painting was loaned to an Italian gallery February to July 2010 as part of Caravaggio’s 400th anniversary. In 1997 Anne Yeats donated kiss by her uncle Jack Yeats and the Gallery now includes a Yeats Museum. Denis Mahon, a well-known art critic, promised the Gallery part of his rich collection and eight painting from his promised inheritance is on permanent display, including Jacob blesses Josephby Guercino.

The directors of the gallery have been: George Mulvany, 1862-1869; Henry Doyle, 1869-1892, Walter Armstrong, 1892-1914, Hugh Lane, 1914-1915;Robert Langton Douglas, 1916-1923; Lucius O’Callaghan, 1923-1927;Thomas Bodkin, 1927-1935; George Furlong, 1935-1950; Thomas McGreevy, 1950-1963, James White, 1964-1980; Homan Potterton, 1980-1988; Raymond Keaveney, 1988-2012; Sean Rainbird 2012-present.

Millennium Wing

A new wing, called the Millennium Wing, was opened in 2002. Unlike the previous two extensions, this new wing street frontage and English architects Benson & Forsyth gave it an imposing Bowers Whitbed, Portland stone façade and large atrium. The design originally involved demolishing an adjoining Georgian terrace house and its ballroom mews; However, the Irish planning appeals authority, An Bord Pleanála, required that they be preserved. Millennium Wing is not without its critics: it is unforgiving of poor maintenance and compromise in the design in accordance with An Bord Pleanála resulted in a final formulation diluted from the original competition winning building concepts. Circulation space also lacks clarity, but it is widely believed that these flaws are trivial details set against the drama of the building. In line with its Brutalist style, the interior concrete walls remain unsealed.

Comprehensive plan

In March 2011, the Office of Public Works (OPW), work began gallery historic complex on Merrion Square to address a critical need of repair and renovation of the existing building fabric. The first phase of the work program, which involved the removal and replacement of the Dargan Wing roof, is now complete. The next two phases of the project will involve redesigning and replacing the Milltown Wing roof, followed by an extensive upgrade of the fabric of the buildings and services. Renovation of the two wings is scheduled to be completed in 2016. A small window that provides an architectural overview of the gallery is now open in the Beit Wing of the room 13A.

Location, access and facilities

National Gallery of Ireland is located in the heart of Georgian Dublin. There are two entrances, one on Merrion Square and at Clare Street. Merrion Square entrance is closed for renovation. Admission to the gallery is free and many talks, tours and events as well as audio guide is also free. The gallery launched a free smartphone app in 2013.

Dublin Bus routes 4, 7, 8, 39a and 46a all past gallery. Pearse Street DART Station is 5 minutes walk as is the Saint Stephen’s Green stop on the Green Line of the LUAS. Abbey Street stop on the Red Line of the LUAS is a 20-minute walk away. There are two Dublin Bikes stations just outside the gallery, one in Clare Street and others at Merrion Square West.

All galleries and entrances are wheelchair and stroller accessible and there are disabled parking spaces outside Merrion Square entrance. Tours for visually and hearing impaired are regularly organized. Visitors with guide dogs are welcome in the gallery. The lecture theater, room and gallery shop is equipped with a system for the deaf loop.


The collection has about 14,000 works of art, of which about 2,500 oil paintings, 5,000 drawings, 5,000 prints and some sculpture, furniture and other artwork.


  • Luis de Morales (c.1592-86) St Jerome in the Wilderness 1570s
  • Jusepe de Ribera (1591? -1652) St. Onuphrius late 1620s
  • Velazquez Diego (1599-1660) the cook with supper Emmaus c.1617-18
  • Francisco Zurbarán (1598-1664) of the Immaculate Conception in the early 1660s
  • Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682) The Return of the Prodigal Sonc.1660
  • Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) Dona Antonia Zaratec.1805-06
  • Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881-1973) Still Life with Mandolin 1924
  • Juan Gris (1887-1927) Pierrot 1921


  • Jacques Yverni (flourished 1410-1438) Annunciation c.1435
  • Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665)
    • Acis and Galatea 1627-1628
    • Lamentation over the Dead Christ 1657-1660
  • Jean Lemaire (1598-1659) Architecture Landscape with Classical Figures1627-30
  • Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699-1779) Still Life: two rabbits, a gray partridge, Game Bag and Powder Flask 1731
  • Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806) Venus and Cupid (Day) c.1755
  • Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) Demosthenes on the beach 1859
  • Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) Portrait of Adolphe Marlet 1851
  • Alfred Sisley (1819-1899) the banks of the Canal du Loing at Saint-Mammes 1888
  • Claude Monet (1840-1926) Argenteuil Basin with a single Sailboat 1874
  • Paul Signac (1863-1935) Lady on the terrace 1898
  • Kees van Dongen (1877-1968) Stella in a floral hat c.1907
  • Chaim Soutine (1893-1943) Landscape with staircase c.1922


  • Master of Verucchio (14 century) Crucifixion, Noli me Tangere c.1330-40
  • Fra Angelico (1417-1455) St. Cosmas and Damian and their brothers survivors Stake c.1440-42
  • Zanobi Strozzi (attribute) (1412-1468) Assumption of the Virgin with STS Jerome and Francis 1460s
  • Filippino Lippi (1457-1504) Portrait of a musician late 1480s
  • Titian (c.1485 / 90-1576) Ecce Homo c.1558 / 60
  • Giovanni Battista Moroni (before 1524-1578) Portrait of a gentleman and his two children c.1570
  • Caravaggio (1571-1610) Judas Kiss 1602
  • Guido Reni (1575-1624) suicide Cleopatra c.1639-40
  • Domenichino (1581-1641) Saint Mary Magdalene c.1625
  • Guercino (1591-1666) Jacob blessing the sons of Jacob c.1620
  • Sassoferrato (1609-85) Virgin and Child 1630s
  • Luca Giordano (1634-1705) Venus, Mars and the Forge of Vulcan 1660
  • Carlo Maratta (1625-1713) Rape of Europa c. 1680-5
  • Francesco Solimena (1657-1747) Allegory of Winter c.1690
  • Canaletto (1697-1768) St. St. Mark’s Square c.1756
  • Ugolino di Nerio (early 14th Century) The prophet Isaiah
  • Paolo Uccello (1397-1475) Virgin and Child

German and Swiss

  • Salzburg School Christ on the cross with the Virgin Mary and Johnc.1430
  • Master of Youth St. Romold (active c.1490) St. Romold farewell to his parents, c.1490
  • Georg Pencz (active 1500-1550) Portrait of a Gentleman 1549
  • Angelika Kauffmann (1741-1807) The Ely Family 1771
  • Emil Nolde (1867-1956) Two women in a garden in 1915


  • Pieter Bruegel the Younger (1564-c.1637) Peasant Wedding 1620
  • Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) St. Peter find Tribute Money 1617-1618
  • Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678)
    • The veneration of the Eucharist, c.1630
    • Night Emmaus c.1645-65
  • Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) a boy standing on a terrace c.1623-24


  • Marinus van Reymerswaele (written) (c.1490 / 95-c.1567) Calling of Matthew c.1530-40
  • Gerrit van Honthorst (1590-1656) A Musical Party c.1616-18
  • Rembrandt (studio) (1606-1669) La Main Chaude c.1628
  • Willem Cornelisz Duyster (1599-1635) Interior with soldiers in 1632
  • Aelbert Cuyp (1620-91) dairy 1640s?
  • Matthias Stomer (1600-after 1650) Arrest of Christ, c.1641
  • Rembrandt (1606-1669) Landscape with the Rest on the Flight into Egypt1647
  • Willem Drost (1652-1680) Bust of a man wearing a large-brimmed hatc.1654
  • Anthonie de Lorme (1610-1673) Interior of St Laurenskerk, Rotterdamc.1660-65
  • Gabriel Metsu (1629-1667)
    • You write a Letter c.1663
    • Woman reading a letter c.1663
  • Jan Steen (1625 / 26-79)
    • Byskolan c.1665
    • The wedding at Cana 1665-1670
  • Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) Lady writing a letter, together with its maiden c.1670
  • Cornelis Troost (1696-1750) Jeronimus Tonneman and his son Jeronimus 1736
  • Nicolaes the Giselaer Interior with Figures
  • Emanuel de Witte Church Interior
  • Frans Hals Fisher Boy With Basket

British and American

  • William Hogarth (1697-1764)
    • The Western Family c.1738
    • The Mackinen Children c.1747
  • Thomas Gainsborough 1727-1788
    • A view in Suffolk c.1746
    • Mrs. Christopher Horton (1743-1808) later Duchess of Cumberlandin 1766
    • The Cottage Girl 1785
  • Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792)
    • Parody of Raphael’s “School of Athens” 1751
    • Temple Family 1780-1782
    • Omai in 1776 (on loan from a private collection)
    • Charles Coote, the first Earl of Bellamont 1776
  • Henry Raeburn (1756-1823) , Sir John and Lady Clerk of Penicuik 1791
  • George Romney (1734-1802) , Titania, Puck and Changling, from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in 1793
  • John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) The Bead Stringers Venice 1880-1882
  • Stanley Royle (1888-1961) The Goose Girl c.1921
  • Francis Wheatley (1747-1801) The Dublin Volunteers at College Green, 4 November 1779 1779-1780
  • Andrew Festing (1941-present)


The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife (1854) by Daniel Maclise, a romanticized depiction of the marriage of Aoife MacMurrough1170

  • Kevin Abosch (photographer) (1969) “Portrait of Brian O’Driscoll” 2011
  • James Barry (1741-1806)
    • The Temptation of Adam 1767-1770
    • Self Portrait as Timanths c.1780-1803
    • The Death of Adonis
  • Augustus Nicholas Burke (1838-1891) Connemara Girl (1865) .
  • Nathaniel Hone the Elder (1718-1784) The Wizard , 1775
  • Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1740-1808) Frederick Hervey, Bishop of Derry and fourth Earl of Bristol (1730-1803), with his granddaughter Lady Caroline Crichton (1779-1856), in the gardens of Villa Borghese, Romec.1790
  • Francis Danby (1793-1861) The opening of the sixth seal , 1828
  • Daniel Maclise (1806-1870) The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife , 1854
  • Sarah Purser (1848-1943) Le Petit Dejeuner 1881
  • Roderic O’Conor (1860-1940) Le Jeune Bretonne c.1895
  • Walter Osborne (1859-1903) in a Dublin Park, light and shadow c.1895
  • John Lavery (1856-1941) The Artist’s Studio: Lady Hazel Lavery with her daughter and stepdaughter Alice Eileen 1909-1913
  • Paul Henry (1876-1958) Start Currach 1910-1911
  • William John Leech (1881-1968) Convent Garden, Brittany c.1912
  • Sean Keating (1889-1977) an allegory c.1922
  • Mainie Jellett (1897-1944) Decoration 1923
  • Gerard Dillon (1916-1971) The Little Green Fields c.1945
  • Louis le Brocquy (1916) A family in 1951
  • William Orpen (1878-1931) “Portrait of John Count McCormack” 1923

Yeats Collection

  • Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)
    • Bachelor’s Walk, in memory 1915 (on loan from a private collection) [2]
    • Liffey Swim 1923
    • One morning in a city in 1937
    • grief 1952
  • John Butler Yeats (1839-1922) John O’Leary in 1904

Drawings and watercolors

  • James Malton (1760-1803) The Custom House
  • Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) Fishing boats at Folkestone Beach
  • Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) Jane Burden as Queen Guinevere in 1858
  • Frederick William Burton (1816-1900) Hellelil and Hildebrand, meeting on the Turret Stairs, 1864 1864
  • James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) Nocturne in gray and gold – Piccadilly, 1881-1883
  • Edgar Degas (1834-1917) Two Ballet Dancers in a dressing room
  • Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881-1973) Two Dancers in 1925

See also

  • Art gallery
  • Irish art
  • List of Irish artists
  • Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery
  • The Irish Museum of Modern Art


  1. Jump up ^ National Gallery of Ireland Act 1854 7.
  2. Jump up^
  • Raymond Keaveney (2002), The National Gallery of Ireland: The Essential Guide . London. Scala Publishers ISBN 1-85759-267-0
  • Homan Fullerton (2003), The National Gallery of Ireland in Brian Lalor (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Ireland . Dublin. Gill & Macmillan, ISBN 0-7171-3000-2
  • Homan Fullerton, Introduction to the National Gallery of Ireland: illustrated summary catalog of paintings . Dublin. Gill & Macmillan, ISBN 0-7171-1145-8