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The National Gallery of Ireland

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This elegant and graceful gallery welcomes visitors into a tranquil environment, where the clean white walls and polished wood floors resound the quiet strolling footsteps of appreciative visitors. This gallery is the perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon with over 15000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, objets d'art dating from the 13 th century to the mid 20 th century on display.

The National Gallery is located on Merrion Square West in the city centre, conveniently next door to the National History museum and close to Leinster House (the centre of government in Ireland). It was built in the19th century and dedicated to its patron, businessman William Dargan. In 1903 the Gallery was extended, creating a North Wing, was opened in 1968. In 2001, the new Millennium Wing, a largest addition was opened.

There are two entrances - the Clare Street one leads to the new Millennium Wing, featuring the most recent works and the Irish collection or there is the original Georgian entrance on Merrion Square West.

There are some world famous pieces that truly make it worthy of a place on your 'To Do' list. Make sure you allow yourself the time to appreciate fully all that is laid out before you, plan at least 2-3 hours to dedicate to the gallery.

The most prized possession of the gallery is arguably Caravaggio's "The Taking of Christ", which had disappeared for about 200 years until it was discovered in a Jesuit house on Dublin's Leeson Street in 1993 (unbelievably, it was thought to have been a copy!). There are also some interesting portraits from the Italian Spanish, French, Dutch, Flemish, British and German schools of paintings, and naturally, a large collection of Irish art, particularly paintings by Jack B. Yeats.

Wander through the large spacious halls and grand sweeping staircases to view the other artists represented, including Rembrandt, Valázquez, Fra Angelico, Vermeer, Hogarth, Murillo, Reynolds, Titian, Turner, Caravaggio, Gainsborough, Rubens, Brueghel, Picasso, Van Dyck, and El Greco. The Irish collection includes Osborne, Orpen, O'Conor, Hone and Maclise. 

The National Gallery of Ireland offers many supplementary facilities including touch-screen computers, drawing courses, and guided tours . Free tours of the permanent collection are available every Saturday at 2pm, and every Sunday at 1pm and 2pm. The Gallery regularly runs free public lectures and seminars, and hosts temporary loaned exhibitions, which are worth checking out in advance.

The gift shop allows you to take home prints of your favourite pieces of art, and books on the masters, it's impossible to walk away empty handed!

After all that thirsty work, settle down in the café or simply take a timeout there to savour the feasts of the eyes.

The Gallery is open all year round except for 24 - 26 December, and on Good Friday.  
Monday - Saturday 9.30am - 5.30pm
Thursday 9.30am - 8.30pm
Sunday 12pm - 5.30pm
Public Holidays 10am - 5.30pm

Last entry is an hour before closing time, and closing down begins 15 minutes before closing time.   

 

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