Located in the centre of Dublin on Merrion Square, The National Gallery of Ireland is home to a wealth of artefacts – from Irish to European art works. Read on to find out why all artistic tastes are well catered for at Ireland’s National Gallery along with details on how to get there and much more.
The history of the National Gallery of Ireland dates back to 1853, when business man
William Dargan organized the Great Industrial Exhibition in the grounds of Leinster House. He had hoped that the proceeds from this event could be put towards the formation of the gallery – however, it would appear there isn’t any evidence to show that this actually happened.
Three years later, progress was made with the purchase of 15 paintings in Rome. 1864 saw the gallery opening with the Dargan Wing, and the Milltown Rooms were added during the period 1899 to 1903. The Modern Wing was added between 1964 and 1968.
The gallery itself holds a collection of Irish Art and European master paintings. The collections date from the 14th to the 20th century while works on paper date from the 15th century and up to the mid 20th century. There’s also a vast range of works from pencil sketches to watercolours, etchings, engravings and miniatures.
While viewing the paintings, please take note of the many 17th, 18th and 19th century sculptures, which are interspersed throughout the painting galleries.The gallery also boasts a fine collection of Objets d’Art including Irish furniture, silver fans from the 18th century, as well as pieces from the 20th century.
Exhibitions currently showing are: Impressionist Interiors, where you can view works by Manet, Degas, Renoir, Monet and Gaugin (entrance fee applicable for this event), and Jack B. Yeats: Highlights from the Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo.
Calling all budding young artists! – here’s your chance to take your first step on the ladder. The gallery is proud to host a Summer Art Club in July 2008. Little Masters Classes are available for 3 to 6 year olds and there’s a Children’s Art Club available for 7 to 12 year olds.
Admission to the Gallery is free, however some events/exhibits are chargeable. For more information check out the National Gallery of Ireland website.
If you’re feeling a bit peckish the Gallery has two eateries – Fitzers at he the Wintergarden Restaurant and the Gallery Café.
Monday to Saturday: 10am – 5.30pm
Thursday: 10am – 8.30pm
Sunday: 2pm – 5pm
Closed on Good Friday and on December 24, 25 and 26.
Public tours of the gallery are available Saturday and Sunday. Guided tours need to be booked 3 weeks in advance, and you also have the option of an audio tour. Public lectures are usually held on Tuesdays and Saturdays. There’s also the option available for members of the public to bring in their own work to be appraised by curators on the 1st Thursday of each month (service not available in January and August). Again check out their website for more information.
How to get here…
By Bus – You can take bus routes 5, 7 and 7A to Merrion Square North & Clare Street and the number 10 bus to Merrion Row & Pembroke Street. Take the 13A to Merrion Square South or the 44C & 48A to Merrion Square West.
By LUAS – Take the Green Line as far as the St Stephen’s Green stop.
By DART – Pearse Station is five minutes from the Gallery.
Parking – If you’re driving there’s metered parking around Merrion Square.
Looking for somewhere to stay in Dublin? Have a look at our Dublin city hotels page.