27 May – 24 August 2014
The National Gallery of Ireland has a long-standing association with Russborough in Co. Wicklow. Built in the 1740s by Joseph Leeson, later 1st Earl of Milltown, Russborough is considered one of the finest examples of Palladian architecture in Ireland. The house stayed in the Milltown family for many generations. In 1902, the Dowager Countess of Milltown gifted over 200 works of art to the Gallery, which culminated in the opening of the Gallery’s Milltown Wing (1903). In 1914, Russborough passed from the 6th Earl of Milltown (Edward Leeson) to a nephew, Sir Edmund Turton. Sir Turton’s widow subsequently sold Russborough to Colonel Denis and Mrs Daly in 1931. Sir Alfred and Lady Beit bought Russborough in 1952, chiefly to house their art collection. In 1987, they presented the Gallery with an extraordinary collection of 17 outstanding European works of art, including masterpieces by Velázquez, Murillo, Vermeer, Metsu, Gainsborough and Raeburn. This exhibition is spread across 2 rooms and displays important works from the Milltown and Beit Gifts, many of which have not been seen by the public. There is an accompanying brochure, written by Adrian le Harivel, curator of the show, and a series of associated talks take place in June.
Admission free, Rooms 1 & 9.