New Displays at the National Gallery

Hogarth, 'Real Life?'

Press Release: July 2012


National Gallery of Ireland presents a programme of new displays from its Irish and European collections.

A varied programme of exhibitions and thematic displays from the National Gallery of Ireland’s collection will feature a more expansive representation of the Gallery’s holdings which have not been on public view for some time. The limited exhibition space available to the Gallery over the next two to three years due to the refurbishment of the historic complex at Merrion Square will be an opportunity to open up the permanent collection to a wider audience.

Sean Rainbird, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland says: “the Gallery is committed to making more of its collection accessible to the public at a time when the historic Dargan and Milltown Wings are undergoing refurbishment for the next three years. Displaying a representation of the Gallery’s distinctive Irish collection, in addition to new thematic displays around the European collection, will be key in keeping the presentations fresh during this development period, especially for our regular visitors.”

A new display devoted to Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957), regarded as one of Ireland’s best-loved painters of the twentieth century, is now on view as part of the presentation of Irish paintings in the Millennium Wing. It brings together some 15 of his best-known urban and rural scenes from the 1920s to the 1950s, among them, Draughts (1922), The Liffey Swim (1923), Morning in the City (1937), In Memory of Bouicault and Bianconi (1937), The Singing Horseman (1949), and For the Road (1951). It will be complemented by an exhibition of the artist’s ‘Punch’ cartoons which opens in the Print Gallery on 28 July.

An in-focus show on one of the most successful printmakers and satirists of eighteenth-century England, William Hogarth (1697-1764), will open in the Millennium Wing on 23 July. The exhibition, Real Life? Hogarth's mages of love, death and family, will illustrate the awful realities of life shown in his popular print series on moral subjects, including his set of four ‘Cruelty’ prints (1751), contrasting with his paintings of ideal family life as shown in The Western Family (c.1738) and The Mackinen Children (1740s).

A depiction of an artist, how they present themselves and how others see them, is explored in the current exhibition, Artists Face to Face, on view in the Beit Wing until 30 September. It brings together over 25 artist’s portraits spanning five centuries, featuring Nathaniel Hone, George Barret, Pietro Longhi, William Orpen, Moyra Barry, Leo Whelan, Sean Keating, Nano Reid, Tony O’Malley and Gerard Dillon.

Admission is free to the permanent collection and associated exhibitions.

The National Gallery of Ireland is open 7-days. Entrance is via the Millennium Wing at Clare Street, Dublin 2.