Caravaggio 25 Years: Celebrating a Masterpiece
On 16 November 1993, there was talk of a light rail being built to connect the airport to Dublin city centre. It was reported that 15% of Irish primary school students were missing school regularly. Sleepless in Seattle was in Irish cinemas. And, most importantly, a very special event took place in the National Gallery of Ireland. The Taking of Christ (1602) by Caravaggio was unveiled to the public for the first time.
In 2018, to mark this twenty-five year anniversary, we held a series of events; installed a temporary display (14 November 2018 - 25 February 2019) revealing the remarkable history of the painting; and commissioned a new poem from acclaimed Dublin poet and playwright Stephen James Smith.
We are grateful to the Jesuit Community, Leeson Street, for placing the painting on indefinite loan to the Gallery, acknowledging the generosity of Dr Marie Lea-Wilson, who had presented the picture to them.
Read on to discover the web of people and circumstances behind the painting.