Sir Denis’s library and archive, which reflects his scholarly interests, covers art from classical times onwards. Italian art is strongly represented particularly the baroque period while British, Dutch, French and Spanish art also feature prominently.
The library collection includes many rare and antiquarian volumes which are regarded as key sources in the study of European art, particularly Italian art. Included in the gift are first and second editions of Vasari’s Lives, Leandro Alberti’s most important work, Descrittione di tutta l’Italia (1550), Orlandi’s influential publication the Abecedario pittorico, published in 1704 and considered an important source of information about art and artistic practice of that period, and Bellori’s collection of biographies, Le vite de’ pittori, scultori et architetti moderni. Many of the books were previously unavailable to researchers in Ireland.
The library also boasts several large bound volumes of prints after Carracci and Guercino, together with a stack of loose engravings. In addition, there are artists’ monographs, catalogue raisonnés, exhibition catalogues, sales catalogues, journals, conference proceedings, guide books and pamphlets published between the 16th century and the present day.