Athlone Castle, County Westmeath, attributed to Jan Peeters I (1624-c.1677)

Drawing of Athlone Castle
Attributed to Jan Peeters I (1624-c.1677), Athlone Castle, County Westmeath, 1650s. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland.
25.3 x 38.7 cm
Brown ink with black chalk on paper
Purchased, 2006

Curator's Choice

We've asked the Gallery's curators to select some of their favourite works from the collection. Here Anne Hodge, Curator of Prints and Drawings, shares this rare drawing:

"Drawings like this rare topographical view can sometimes help us imagine how the world looked in times past. The steeply pitched roofs of the houses in this drawing are uncharacteristic of Irish towns, which may indicate that the drawing is a copy by a Flemish artist after a sketch done on the spot.

A man can be seen riding a donkey across the damaged bridge into the castle. The missing stones have been replaced by a wooden plank. This detail is significant as it allows us to date the drawing to sometime after 1651. During the Siege of Athlone by Cromwell’s forces, the bridge was deliberately damaged by the castle’s defenders to hold off the attackers. The castle was destroyed in 1691, and only traces of the outer walls remain today.

There are a number of collectors’ marks visible on the paper, which shows it was a prized sheet. A small stamp—PH.—indicates that it was once owned by Prosper Henry Lankrink, a London collector who began his career as a studio assistant to Peter Lely, the 17th-century portraitist."