'The Four Courts, Inns Quay'

Walter Frederick Osborne, ‘The Four Courts, Inns Quay’, c.1901

Walter Frederick Osborne (Dublin 1859 - 1903 Dublin)
The Four Courts, Inns Quay, c.1901

Oil on board
Purchased, 1969
NGI 1916

‘A dull yellow light brooded over the houses and the river; and the sky seemed to be descending. [ …] The lamps were still burning red in the murky air and, across the river, the palace of the Four Courts stood out menacingly against the heavy sky.’
The Dead, p.239*

Osborne’s painting of 1901 evokes the scene that met Gabriel the narrator of ‘The Dead’ when he emerged from his Aunt’s house on the Liffey Quays. The massive bulk of the Four Courts, designed by James Gandon, dominates Osborne’s view. In the foreground of the painting workmen are shown paving the road.


*Please note: page numbers cited in the labels refer to The O’Brien Press 2012 edition of Dubliners by James Joyce, published to coincide with the ‘One City, One Book’ festival 2012. This edition is for sale in the NGI Shop.


Find out more about the Dublin: One City, One Book festival, an initiative of Dublin City Public Libraries