About this online self-guided tour
This dual-language tour in Mandarin and English was written by Chun Zhu Wang to celebrate the Dublin Chinese Lunar New Year Festival. It's part of our ongoing Through a Lens series, which we hope will lead you on a journey of discovery through the galleries, highlighting popular works of art, inspiring stories and fascinating facts.
As you stroll through our galleries, look out for this selection of paintings. These visitor favourites are among the Gallery’s most requested works and are gems of the national collection.
The selection of artworks is quite broad, spanning different centuries, styles, artists and genres. To help get you thinking and looking closely at the works you will find a few questions with each entry. You can also follow the 'explore further' links under each entry to learn more about the artwork or about how the Gallery has engaged with it through projects, resources, podcasts and online content.
这些艺术品涉及范围很广，涵盖了不同的世纪，风格，艺术家和流派。 为了帮助您思考和仔细研究这些作品，每个作品介绍里我们都加入了一些问题。 您还可以点击每个条目下的“进一步探索”链接，以通过项目，资源，播客和在线内容进一步了解这些艺术品以及画廊与其之间的互动。
If you are following this tour onsite at the Gallery, taking in all the works will take approximately 60 minutes. Feel free to skip a few or spend longer at others. When in the Gallery, please be aware that you will be moving across various levels, which may require access to lifts. You can ask any member of staff to direct you to the closest lift. They will also be able to direct you to any other facilities you may require including a Changing Places facility located at the Merrion Square entrance.
如果您是在美术馆现场进行参观，参观完所有的作品将花费大约60分钟。当你遵循我们的单向系统时，作品将按照画廊中出现的顺序排列。您可以随意跳过一些，或花更多时间在喜欢的作品上。 当进入画廊时，请注意，您将跨不同的楼层，这可能需要使用电梯。 您可以要求任何工作人员将您引导到最近的电梯。 他们还将能够将您引向您可能需要的任何其他设施，包括位于Merrion Square入口处的更衣室设施。
"[The National Gallery of Ireland has] one of the great collections of Europe; one of the finest of its size – there is no better collection in the world."...Thomas Bodkin, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland (1927-1935)
“ [爱尔兰国家美术馆收藏的东西是欧洲最好的收藏之一；是欧洲规模最大的收藏之一–世界上没有更好的收藏。” ...爱尔兰国家美术馆总监托马斯·博德金（Thomas Bodkin，1927年 -1935）
This is presented in association with Dublin Chinese Lunar New Year Festival
Start the tour!
Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957), The Liffey Swim, 1923
Jack B. Yeats was born in London in 1871. He spent his early years moving with his family between London, Dublin, and Sligo, in the West of Ireland. Due to the environment Yeats grew up in, elements of sea and river can be found in many of his artworks.
In 1923 Yeats painted this scene, depicting the annual Liffey Swim competition that was first held in 1920. The painting won the silver medal for painting in the ‘Concourse D’Art’ at the 1924 Paris Olympics. In this work, Yeats invites the audience to participate in this event as spectators. The lively scene, with the crowd all leaning forward to catch a better view of the contestants shows the intense atmosphere of the race.
Among the cheering crowd, Yeats has cleverly incorporated his own self-portrait into the painting; the man wearing a grey fedora with a black band with his head turned is Yeats himself!
His work shows a keen interest in Expressionism, by using smooth and expressive brushstrokes as well as vibrant and bold colours.
- Read more about The Liffey Swim
- Find out about our Yeats Archive
- Listen to a podcast recording about the Yeats family, with Professor Roy Foster
Paul Henry (1876-1958), Launching the Currach, 1910-1911
Paul Henry was born in Belfast and studied in Paris. He was an important Irish painter in the 20th century.
He is regarded as the first Irish post-impressionist artist to record traditional ways of life in a modern style.
Henry spent nine years on the small island of Achill, in the West of Ireland, during which he created countless paintings depicting local culture and beautiful landscapes.
This painting shows five fishermen pushing their boat out to sea in the early morning. Here, Henry is recording the traditional and simple life of Irish fishermen.
Different textures of blues are used in the painting; the thin layer of light blue used for the sky gives a transparent effect, while the thick layers of blue used for the sea shows the dynamic motion and power of the waves.
William John Leech (1881-1968), A Convent Garden, Brittany, c.1913
William John Leech was an Irish painter born in Dublin. He painted interior domestic scenes, and also painted ‘en plein air’, or outdoors. His works include coastal port scenes, landscapes, interior domestic scenes, still life and portraits. His painting style was influenced by the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters, such as Monet and Van Gogh, and the colours he uses are often bright and vivid.
This work was created by Leech during his recovery from typhoid fever in a nun’s hospital and convent in 1904. The work depicts the painter's first wife Elizabeth holding a prayer book in the hospital’s walled garden during the summer, staring upwards as if recalling beautiful memories from the past. Can you spot the nuns behind her?
This work reflects the painter's keen interest in sunlight and patterns.
The intense sunlight, beautiful lilies, and the purity suggested by the white dress, all contribute to create a powerful visual impact and a peaceful, warm and happy atmosphere.
约翰.里奇出生于都柏林的爱尔兰画家。 这位画家擅长室内和室外‘en plein air’主题的绘画创作，作品包括沿海和 港口场景，风景，室内设计，静物和肖像等。其画风受印象派的莫奈和后印象派梵高等画家的影响，颜色明快艳丽丰富多彩。
本场景是里奇于1904年在修道院医院康复时所创作的作品 该作品描绘了画家的第一任妻子伊丽莎白在夏天的修道院医院后花园 手中拿着祈祷书，眼神向上凝视似乎在回忆美好的过去。你能看见她身后的修女吗？
强烈的光照，美丽的百合花，洁白的长裙 为这幅画营造了视觉冲击力以及和平，温暖， 幸福的氛围。
Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), Woman Writing a Letter, with her Maid, c.1670
This is one of Vermeer's most celebrated works in his late artistic career. The characters he painted are quiet, still, mysterious and solemn.The work depicts a young and elegant woman sitting at a table covered with a rug, writing a letter while the maid stares out the window.
The lighting on the left side of the woman is dim, but the wall behind is very bright. This strong contrast between light and dark visually moves the woman forward.
In the foreground, a letter seal, red wax, and a writing manual are scattered on the floor. These were all items commonly used at the time to write letters. The painting on the back wall depicts the biblical story of Moses found in the reeds. Perhaps this tells us more about the lives of the maid and the woman? What do you think?
This work also shows the artist’s bold attempt on a brand new composition method, by moving the frame of the painting to the left.
- Read more about this painting by Johannes Vermeer
- Explore Vermeer's entire oeuvre here and discover connections between the paintings
- Listen to our series of Vermeer podcasts
- Revisit our 2017 exhibition, Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry
- Discover our special education project here
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), The Taking of Christ, 1602
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, was an Italian Baroque painter, his style of painting subverts tradition and gives his audience a strong and lasting impact.
This painting was completed in 1602 during his short but productive period in Rome.These expressive characters, dramatic stories and fine details perfectly reflect the artist’s typical painting style.
He provided a refreshing visual expression of the biblical story, portraying the characters at close range. Where the moonlight illuminates the picture, it creates a strong contrast between light and dark, giving the scene a dramatic effect.
When the guards of the temple came to arrest Jesus, his identity was signalled by a kiss from Judas. St. John is fleeing in a panic on the left. Caravaggio himself appeared in the picture as the man carrying the lantern on the right.
- Read more about The Taking of Christ
- We remember our colleague Sergio Benedetti, who was so instrumental in the rediscovery of this masterpiece
- Listen to a podcast about Caravaggio with art historian Andrew Graham Dixon
- Find out more about the fascinating history of this painting and its dramatic rediscovery
- Read about our 2017 exhibition, Beyond Caravaggio
- Watch a video about our Caravaggio collaboration with St Mary's National School
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), Landscape with the Rest on the Flight into Egypt, 1647
Rembrandt is one of the most famous painters of the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, and is widely recognised as one of the greatest painters in Dutch history.
This work is one of only nine oil landscape paintings painted by Rembrandt. It depicts the story of Joseph's family fleeing to Egypt to avoid the pursuit of Herod.
The characters only occupy a small part of the composition. The gloomy and cold colours of the forest and cliffs are in sharp contrast with the bright and warm tones of the campfire.
In the picture, we can see that Mary is holding the baby in her arms and she holds out a spoon of food for him, while Joseph prepares the fire for dinner. Beside them we can also see the animal that helped them carry their belongings.
The warm and bright bonfire represents their hope of escaping to a safe place in the future.
- Read more about this landscape
- Listen to a live recording of Adriaan Waiboer discussing Rembrandt van Rijn
Juan Gris (1887-1927), Pierrot, 1921
Juan Gris was a Spanish painter and sculptor. He came to Paris in 1906. His work was influenced by Picasso and Braque's Cubist style.
Cubism follows the approach of fragmentation, analysis and recombination and rejects the theory that art should imitate nature. In this work, Juan Gris uses the Cubist method of expression to draw a pantomime Pierrot actor wearing a white dress, a white hat and white face paint.
In the painting, the Pierrot actor sits quietly at the coffee table. Resting on the table are papers similar to music scores and newspapers, as well as musical instruments and a glass. The sombre planes of colour give the composition a collage-like appearance.
立体主义追随碎裂，解析，重新组合的方式 并拒绝艺术该模拟自然的理论。在这幅画作中胡安格里斯用立体主义的表现方法画出了一个穿着白衣 带着白色帽子 并把脸也涂成白色的哑剧皮埃罗演员。
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Still Life with a Mandolin, 1924
Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga, Spain in 1881. He is one of the founders of Cubism, which depicted three-dimensional objects on a flat surface, from multiple angles.
This work is the second painting in a series of large-scale Cubist still-life paintings that Picasso created during his holiday in the village of Juan-les-Pins on the Côte d'Azur in 1924. The black lines in front of the exotic red tablecloth represent the waves along the coast.
The work depicts a fruit dish, wine bottle, and mandolin resting on a table at night. The touch of yellow in the corner shows that these items were lit strongly, as if by an artificial source, creating a dramatic contrast.The large areas of black and blue background combined with the shadows of trees imply that the artist might be facing the sea with his back to the woods, relaxing and enjoying the summer night breeze on the beach.
Eva Gonzalès (1849-1883), Children on the Sand Dunes, Grandcamp, 1877-8
Eva Gonzalès was born in Paris, France in 1849. She was an Impressionist painter.
She combines casual brushwork with soft colours in her work to create a balanced painting with alluring harmony.
Gonzalès met Edouard Manet in 1869 and became his only formal pupil. Her loose brushwork shows the influence of his teaching.
This work is an oil painting on canvas created by Gonzalès in 1877. She painted this scene in the seaside resort of Grandcamp in Normandy. Two local children rest and play on the coast while a basket of fish lay beside them.
In the foreground of the painting is we can see sand and marram grass on the shore, while a light blue coastline marks the high horizon. The line distinguishes the coast and blends into the sky with a sense of beauty and perfection.
伊娃.冈萨雷斯 1849年 出生于法国巴黎是一位印象派女画家。
Claude Monet (1840-1926), Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat, 1874
Claude Monet is one of the most famous French painters in history and one of the founding members of the Impressionist art movement.
He was interested in experimenting with techniques and ways of expressing light and shadow. He focused on shadow rather than outline. Between 1871 and 1978, he lived in Argenteuil, a town on the banks of the Seine, in the outskirts of Paris.
This work is part of the "Argenteuil Basin" series. During this period, Monet often explored the Seine River, painting the river and its banks from a small boat which he had transformed into a mobile studio.
This painting depicts the layers of changing clouds in the autumn sky, the golden leaves on the shore, the sailing boats on the Seine and the ripples on the water. There are no rigid outlines in this painting. The colour scheme is quiet and beautiful; however, the blue and white strokes jumping in the foreground adds vitality to the whole work.
- Find out more about Monet's Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat here
- Discover the conservation work that has gone into this painting
- Create your own Monet-inspired drawing and collage!
- Explore the Gallery Shop to find lots of beautiful gifts with a Monet theme!
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