Current Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane houses the foremost public collection of contemporary art in Ireland; the gallery also has a dynamic temporary exhibitions programme often encompassing the permanent collection. Mon, 19 Mar 2018 03:19:57 +0000 Point Blank en-gb Conservation: Frank O'Meara Self Portrait Conservation of Self Portrait by Frank O'Meara

As part of our theme 'Artist as Witness: Migrations' for 2017, 'Frank O'Meara and Irish Artists Abroad' is a new display of paintings curated by Jessica O'Donnell on view in galleries 12 and 13 exploring the work of artists who, influenced by innovative new developments in en plein air painting on the Continent travelled abroad to develop their art practice. Now on display following conservation is a beautiful rare self portrait by Frank O'Meara which the Gallery has recently acquired with the financial support of Mary Stratton Ryan, art historian.

Since the arrival of the painting in November 2016, it has undergone technical research and examination by our Conservator Lucia Fabbro to help determine its condition and painting materials.Using non-invasive analyses: visible light, raking light and ultra-violet light information can be gleaned to better understand the condition of the painting and how to treat it. Following a cleaning test, the painting has been sensitively cleaned to remove dirt and grime to reveal the original colours and wonderful brushstrokes. The artist's signature and '1884' date is also clearer.

Born in Carlow, Frank O'Meara (1853-1888) studied at the atelier of Carolus-Duran in Paris. There, he became friends with John Singer Sargent who painted a sensitive portrait of a young twenty-two year old O'Meara in 1875. That portrait of O'Meara was presented by his companion, the American Isobel Osbourne to the Century Association in New York. The only known self portrait by Frank O'Meara, which is now belonging to the Hugh Lane Gallery, was painted in 1884 during the period the artist was at the village of Grez-sur-Loing, near Fontainebleu. O'Meara's oeuvre is characterised by a poetic wistfulness. His pensive figures are often portrayed in outdoor autumnal settings bathed in even, muted light or at twilight against the background of a rising moon. O'Meara died at the young age of thirty-five. During his artistic career, he worked slowly and carefully and there is not a large number of extant works by the artist. This Gallery has the largest number of works (six) by O'Meara in a public collection.


]]> (Dr. Margarita Cappock) Mon, 14 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 14 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 03 Dec 2001 00:00:00 +0000
Frank O'Meara and Irish Artists Abroad Artistic Migration: Frank O'Meara and Irish Artists Abroad

On view in galleries 12 and 13

Curated by Jessica O'Donnell

As part of our theme Artist as Witness: Migrations, this display of paintings in galleries 12 and 13 explores the work of  Irish artists who, influenced by innovative new developments in en plein air painting on the Continent travelled abroad to develop their art practice.  The Taylor prize set up in 1860 provided monetary support for artists who wished to travel and study abroad. It enabled many Irish artists to experience at first hand the pioneering developments occurring in France where the art movements of Realism, Impressionism, Symbolism and Post-Impressionism were to the fore of revolutionary art practice. In Britain, artists including Philip Wilson Steer, whose work is also on view here, promoted modern French painting through the New English Art Club. A rare self portrait by Frank O'Meara which was recently acquired by the Gallery with the financial support of Mary Stratton-Ryan is also on display following  conservation treatment by Lucia Fabbro, Conservator.

In Belgium, the reputation of the Academie Royale des Beaux Arts at Antwerp during the 1870s and 1880s attracted students internationally and Walter Osborne and Roderic O’Conor were among the Irish artists who studied there. The Academy’s teaching philosophy was led by Charles Verlat, Professor of Painting. He emphasised excellence in draughtsmanship alongside a vigorous handling of paint and encouraged students to paint rapidly out of doors using bold colours.  From Antwerp, many of the Irish artists such as Roderic O’Conor and John Lavery, headed to the artists’ colonies in Brittany including Pont Aven and Beg-Meil while others favoured the French countryside around the rural village of Barbizon at the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau as well as the picturesque villages in Britain.

In Paris, numerous new academies emerged in opposition to the academic teachings of the École des Beaux Arts. To advance their practices, many of the artists taking advantage of the new public transport system headed off by train to the artists’ colonies which had sprung up around Fontainebleau. These colonies were thronged with those seeking to live the bohemian dream and capture idyllic subject matter drawn from rural life.

The Irish artist Frank O’Meara studied at the atelier of Carolus-Duran in Paris. There, he became friends with John Singer Sargent who joined him for a time in the artists’ colony of Grez sur Loing near Fontainebleau.  O’Meara and fellow artist William Stott of Oldham’s preference for autumnal light and even, muted colours in their paintings is in marked contrast to the sun-filled exuberance of the paintings of Walter Osborne, William Leech, John Lavery and May Guinness. These differing sensibilities, one wistful and melancholic and the other bolder and more joyous reveals how specific qualities of light and place can enrich our perception of the landscape surrounding us.

Included in The Culture Trip's top shows to see in Dublin this Spring:


]]> (Dr. Margarita Cappock) Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 03 Dec 2001 00:00:00 +0000
Centenary of birth of Louis le Brocquy We are delighted to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the great Irish artist Louis le Brocquy. Born on 10 November 1916, Louis le Brocquy (1916-2012) had a long and close association with the Hugh Lane Gallery. The Gallery organised Louis le Brocquy's first retrospective in 1966 and a further three solo exhibitions in 1978, 1992 and most recently in 2007 with Early Heroes Later Homage, curated by his son Pierre le Brocquy. In this exhibition and accompanying publication, the influence of Beach Scene by Edgar Degas and Music in the Tuileries Gardens by Edouard Manet, both part of the Lane Bequest, was beautifully demonstrated. As director Barbara Dawson said 'His lifetime's work reveals a relentless pursuit of the human condition that has brought him national and international acclaim from an early age, while he himself has become a revered and beloved figure in contemporary Irish art.' The Hugh Lane is extremely fortunate to have a significant collection of paintings, works on paper and tapestries by le Brocquy and his seminal work Child in a Yard (1953) is currently on view as part of The Artist as Witness in Society: Collection

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The Artist as Witness in Society: Collection The Artist as Witness in Society: Collection

Taking as its starting point the theme of artistic, social and political flux engendered by the 1916 Rising, the Artist as Witness in Society is a substantial exhibition drawn from the Hugh Lane’s prodigious collection.This exhibition sees the galleries rehung with a new selection of work offering diverse perspectives on how artists have depicted the changing world around them; how they have engaged with conflict and the liminal in society; and how artists have explored new ways of seeing.The exhibition includes work ranging from the Impressionists, to the Cubist-inspired paintings of Evie Hone and Mainie Jellett dismissed in their own time as ‘artistic malaria’; and to the searing studies of the conflict in Northern Ireland by Rita Donagh and Willie Doherty among others. New acquisitions including A 2007 portrait of the 11 Irish Dunnes Stores strikers by Garrett Phelan and Wall of Death Hell Rider by Brian Duggan are also exhibited. The Artist as Witness in Society: Collection is curated by Jessica O'Donnell.



]]> (General Enquiries) Thu, 11 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Thu, 11 Feb 2016 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 03 Dec 2001 00:00:00 +0000
Return of the Hugh Lane Pictures from National Gallery London Priceless Superstars of the Art World return to Dublin

Four priceless superstars of the art world will return to the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane from the National Gallery London on Thursday 23rd May to huge anticipation.

Part of the famous Hugh Lane Collection is a group of eight paintings by renowned French Impressionist painters. This group is shared in a unique agreement with the National Gallery London (see history of agreement below). These eight paintings are divided into two groups, with four paintings on display in Dublin for six years at a time.

The four paintings returning to Dublin tomorrow are:

  • Les Parapluies or The Umbrellas by Auguste Renoir
  • Portrait of Eva Gonzales by Edouard Manet
  • Jour d'Ete or Summer's Day by Berthe Morisot
  • View of Louveciennes by Camille Pissarro

“It would be a privilege for any gallery to exhibit these pioneering works of art, but it is especially significant that these works are returning to Dublin, to the collection to which Hugh Lane originally intended them to belong.  Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, a vibrant showcase for the visual arts and a treasure trove of modern and contemporary art, welcomes back this wonderful collection” said the Lord Mayor Naoise Ó Muirí

“This is an exciting homecoming for these much loved masterpieces which are part of the cultural history of modern Ireland. These superb works will be on exhibition for the enjoyment of all Dubliners and visitors to the city. “” said Barbara Dawson, Director of the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane.

The masterpieces will be on view to the public from Friday, 24th May. There will be a free public lecture on Renoir’s Les Parapluies by Dr. Margarita Cappock, Head of Collections at the Gallery on Sunday, 26th May at 3.00pm.

Images available at:

For further information contact:

Dublin City Council Media Relations Office T. (01) 222 2170, M. 087 740 0277

Barbara Dawson, Director, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane  (T) 01 2225554

Dr. Margarita Cappock, Head of Collections, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (T) 2225557

Details of the Paintings

The much loved and world renowned Les Parapluies ( or The Umbrellas ) by Auguste Renoir returns to delight Dublin audiences. Renoir who lived in the heart of Paris depicts a rainy day on a crowded Parisienne street where brightly coloured umbrellas are hoisted against the inclement weather. Renoir paints a vivid and colourful picture of urban life which is all the more fascinating due to the underlying tension between the humble but beautiful flower girl and  the admiring seductive glance of the wealthy man to the left of the painting.

The Portrait of Eva Gonzales by Edouard Manet aroused great excitement when Hugh Lane purchased it for 100,000 francs in 1904. Gonzales became a pupil of Manet's in 1869 and he painted this portrait of her in 1870. A successful artist during her brief lifetime, ( she died in childbirth aged 36) one of her paintings. Children Playing in the Sand Dunes is in the National Gallery of Ireland. George Moore, a great fan of this painting,in one of his lectures in support of Hugh Lane and a gallery of modern art for Ireland, exhorted his audience to no longer  look upon the withered thighs of martyred saints, but rather on the beauty of female form and the raised arm of Mme. Gonzales and William Orpen included Eva Gonzales in the background of his famous painting 'Homage to Manet.

The magnificent Jour d'Ete or Summer's Day by  Berthe Morisot shows a sunny day in the Bois de Boulange on the outskirts of Paris, where two women  in the rowing boat on the pond captures the leisured pursuits of Paris society at the turn of the century.

Camille Pissarro's View of Louveciennes captures the French countryside in Springtime.

History of the Agreement

Hugh Percy Lane was born in County Cork, Ireland on 9 November 1875. He was brought up in Cornwall, England, and began his career as an apprentice painting restorer and later became a successful art dealer in London.

Through regular visits to Coole (near Gort), County Galway, the home of his aunt, Lady Gregory, Lane remained in contact with Ireland. He soon counted among his family, friends and social circle those who collectively formed the core of the Irish cultural renaissance in the early decades of the 20th century.

Extolling the cause of Irish art abroad, Lane also became one of the foremost collectors and dealers of Impressionist paintings in Europe, and amongst those outstanding works purchased by him for the new gallery were La Musique aux Tuileries by Manet, Sur la Plage by Degas, Les Parapluies by Renoir and La Cheminée by Vuillard.

The Municipal Gallery of Modern Art opened in January 1908 in temporary premises in Harcourt Street, Dublin. Lane hoped that Dublin Corporation would run it, but the Corporation was unsure if it would be financially viable.

For his "services to art" in Ireland, Lane was knighted in June 1909 at the comparatively young age of 33.

Lane did not live to see his gallery permanently located as he died in 1915 during the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, off the west coast of Cork, the county of his birth.

Following his death, his will bequeathed his collection to London, but an un witnessed  codicil which he wrote before his death in 1915 bequeathed it to Dublin. However the codicil was not witnessed and his wishes were not honoured despite huge lobbying by Irish and British sympathisers

At the request of Lane's aunt, Lady Gregory, WT Cosgrave, leader of the Irish Government unsuccessfully approached Ramsay MacDonald on the matter in 1929. When John A. Costello became Taoiseach in 1948, he initiated further negotiations with Harold Macmillan, the British Prime Minister. This eventually led to a compromise in 1959, under Taoiseach Sean Lemass, whereby half of the Lane Bequest would be lent and shown in Dublin every five years.

In 1993 the agreement was varied so that 31 of the 39 paintings would stay in Ireland. The remaining 8 were divided into 2 groups, so that 4 would be lent for 6 years at a time to Dublin. These 8 include works by Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Morisot, Vuillard and Degas. In 2008, in celebration of its first centenary, the Hugh Lane negotiated  with the National Gallery London for the return of the entire Bequest for a period of three months, the first time they were reunited with the rest of Hugh Lane’s collection since 1913.

The Gallery, is now situated in Parnell Square in central Dublin. A new wing was opened in 2006.

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Permanent Collection Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane houses the foremost collection of modern and contemporary art in Ireland. Established in 1908 by Sir Hugh Lane and his supporters with Dublin Corporation the collection has grown considerably with acquisitions  in both traditional art forms and new media. The gallery has benefited from significant bequests including Lady Lavery Memorial Bequest 1935, Francis Bacon's Studio 1998, Sean Scully Collection 2005 and gifts from including The Friends of the National Collections of Ireland, The contemporary Irish Arts Society as well as from individuals. The gallery's  collection is an invaluable reflection of movements and initiatives that have occurred from the time of the Impressionists to today including  superb works acquired from the ROSC series of exhibitions which occurred between 1967 and 1988. Recent acquisitions include Perceived Lightness by Liam Gillick, Black Atlas Series by Kathy Prendergast and Climate Shit Drawing by Yinka Shonibare  In 2008 the gallery celebrated its first centenary with Hugh Lane 100 Years exhibition which saw the return from National Gallery London all 39  paintings from Sir Hugh Lane's 1917 Bequest. They hung together together with the original collection for the first time since 1913. Over 80,000 people visited during the course of the exhibition.  In 2015 the gallery commemorated the centenary of the death of Sir Hugh Lane with the exhibition Sir Hugh Lane: Legacy and Loss. In 2016 as part of the commemorations for the centenary of the 1916 Rising, the gallery launched a themed programme Artist as Witness with selected displays from the collection. In 2017 the theme continues with Artist as Witness: Migrations which sees a display of works from the early 20th century to today.


]]> (Dr. Margarita Cappock) Mon, 03 Dec 2001 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 03 Dec 2001 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 03 Dec 2001 00:00:00 +0000
Sean Scully Gallery As a result of an ongoing collaboration with Sean Scully, who like Francis Bacon was born in Dublin, the gallery is honoured to be the recipient of a gift of seven paintings, promised since the mid-1990s and presented by the artist in 2006.  These paintings form the second permanent installation in a dedicated gallery in the new wing, located just off Gallery 12.  This gift from Sean Scully, a superb exponent of abstract art, provides a mainstay for the varied exponents of non-figurative painting in the collection; his practice is singular in its illumination of contemporary concerns in abstract expression.

]]> (Dr. Margarita Cappock) Mon, 03 Dec 2001 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 03 Dec 2001 00:00:00 +0000 Mon, 03 Dec 2001 00:00:00 +0000