PRESS RELEASE: 12 December 2012
In 2013, the National Gallery of Ireland will present a programme of temporary exhibitions which will explore the breadth and significance the Gallery’s vast collection of Irish and European works of art. Some elements in the programme will coincide with the period of Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union, and tourism initiatives like ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’. There will also be an opportunity to display more of the Gallery’s recent acquisitions, including Colin Davidson’s portrait of the poet and anthologist, Michael Longley and William Crozier’s Flanders Fields.
Exhibitions Opening 2013
JMW Turner at the National Gallery of Ireland
1-31 January 2013. Admission free.
Curators: Anne Hodge and Niamh MacNally
In 1900, the National Gallery of Ireland accepted from the English collector Henry Vaughan (1809-99) a bequest of 31 watercolours and drawings by Joseph Mallord William Turner RA (1775-1851). His prized Turner watercolours were divided between the National Galleries in London, Dublin and Edinburgh. In his bequest he stipulated that the Turner works be displayed in January only when the natural light levels are at their lowest. Although technologies in museum lighting have advanced in recent years, the National Gallery of Ireland continues to adhere to the conditions of the bequest by showing these luminous watercolours for one month only each year, making it one of the major attractions in the Gallery’s exhibition calendar. The 2013 exhibition includes the entire Vaughan Bequest, in addition to 5 other watercolours acquired in recent years, and a selection of Turner’s Liber Studiorum prints. A new catalogue on the Gallery’s Turner collection, ‘The Works of JMW Turner at the National Gallery of Ireland’ by Anne Hodge and Niamh MacNally, is published by the National Gallery of Ireland with the support of Unicredit Bank Ireland plc. The catalogue presents new insights and research about Turner’s technique and artistry. (Gallery Shop, €14.95pb).
The Sketchbooks of Jack B. Yeats 1897 – 1955
2 February – 5 May 2013. Admission free.
Curators: Donal Maguire and Pauline Swords
This exhibition brings together, for the first time, a significant selection of Jack B. Yeats’s personal sketchbooks, which form part of the Anne Yeats Gift (1996).
By the end of his life, Yeats had assembled a collection of over 200 individual sketchbooks, 205 of which are held by the Gallery. By the late 1890s, these sketchbooks had become an integral part of his artistic practice and he drew regularly upon them for inspiration for both the subject matter and composition of his more formal oil paintings. When viewed as a body of work, this visual archive provides a unique insight into both the private life and public work of Jack B. Yeats. The exhibition will be complemented by a digital presentation with Samsung Galaxy Tablets and Note devices which will give more access to the sketchbooks, photographs and letters from the Yeats archive. An accompanying catalogue will be available featuring illustrations of the 135 sketches on display, as well as new historical analysis and commentary on Yeats and his sketchbook collection.
Treasured Sheets: European Works from the Collection
16 February – 28 April 2013. Admission free.
Curator: Anne Hodge
A presentation of some 50 drawings and prints will highlight the richness and scope of the Gallery’s collection of European works on paper. It will feature old master drawings, landscapes, still life, portraits and prints spanning the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries by Mantegna, Degas, Watteau, Rossetti, Gainsborough, Daniel Maclise and Paul Henry.
This exhibition is presented as part of the Culture Programme of the EU Presidency 2013.
Essential Ireland: A Mini Tour
6 April - 28 July 2013. Admission free.
Curator: Adrian Le Harivel
To coincide with Ireland’s tourism initiative, ‘The Gathering Ireland 2013’, the National Gallery of Ireland will bring together paintings and drawings of historic places in Ireland including views of major cities Dublin, Cork, Galway, Waterford and Derry.
Imagining the Divine: The Holy Family in Art
26 November 2012 - 1 April 2013. Admission free.
Curator: Anne Hodge
This exhibition shows how artists through the ages have imagined and depicted the early life of Christ. It features 13 paintings and drawings, comprising colourful and delicate works by Lorenzo di Credi, Guercino and Murillo, among others. Highlights include The Dawn of Christianity: The Rest on the Flight into Egypt by JMW Turner, on loan from the Ulster Museum, and an early Renaissance painted relief of the Virgin and Child from the workshop of Florentine sculptor, Lorenzo Ghiberti.
Art Surpassing Nature: Dutch Landscapes in the Age of Rembrandt and Ruisdael
29 October 2012 - 20 January 2013. Admission free.
Curator: Dr Adriaan Waiboer
The National Gallery of Ireland houses some of the finest landscapes by Dutch seventeenth-century artists. This exhibition highlights the scope and quality of the collection with works by Jacob van Ruisdael, Rembrandt van Rijn, Meindert Hobbema, Aelbert Cuyp and Hendrick Avercamp.
Conservation In Focus
1 December 2012 – 17 February 2013. Admission free.
Curators: Adrian Le Harivel, with Simone Mancini and Roy Hewson
One of the many paintings in the collection which has undergone forensic examination and conservation is Portrait of San Luigi Gonzaga (1568-1591), which is attributed to the Italian artist, Pietro Facchetti (1539-1613?). Recent restoration of the painting has recovered many hidden details and the original splendour of the artist’s fine brushwork. Preliminary examination of the portrait established the paint-layer was in a fragile condition and the paint surface had been covered with a tinted varnish that had darkened over time. This sixteenth-century painting is the subject of an in-focus display which is complemented by full-size photographs of the painting before conservation, including X-Radiography carried out on the work.