Hugh Lane Gallery
The Hugh Lane Gallery on Parnell Square is one of my favourite galleries in Dublin. I love everything about it, the building, its situation, the history attached to it and of course the Lavery paintings. These are not only beautiful, but a colourful and haunting portrayal of Ireland's history. Did you know that John Lavery's wife Hazel, who allegedly had an affair with Michael Collins, was the face of Ireland on the old Irish pound note. Sir Hugh Lane was the nephew of Lady Gregory, who along with William Butler Yeats led the nationalist revival of the Irish arts at the turn of the last century. Well, connected, he amassed a valuable collection of works of art from leading impressionists such as Monet, Manet, Renoir and Degas which he bequeathed to the Irish nation.
However, after his untimely death, he was a passenger on the Lusitania when it was torpedoed in WW1, much of his legacy was lost to England due to a codicil in his will not being recognized. The case is still going on a 100 years later, so is unlikely to be resolved any time soon. The Hugh Lane gallery also conducts guided tours and events including coffee and conversation with the Lavery portraits, see website for further details.
However the Gallery has scored another major coup in acquiring the entire Reese Mews Studio of Francis Bacon which was generously donated by his sole heir Michael Edwards. Francis Bacon was born in Dublin, but lived and worked in London. 7000 items from his Reese Mews including pieces of the wall he had wiped his paintbrushes on were moved transported here from London and faithfully reconstructed at the gallery.
10 Hidden Gems near the Hugh Lane Gallery
1 The Writers Museum next door to the left, on Parnell Square.
2 Enjoy quiet time in the Garden of Remembrance where Queen Elizabeth laid a wreath to our war heroes when she visited Dublin in 2012.
3 See The Moving Crib, if you are lucky enough to be in Dublin around Christmas. A very Dublin Christmas tradition which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009.
4 Take the Rebel Walking Tour of Dublin and find out where all the action happened in 1916, tickets from the Sinn Fein shop on Parnell square.
5 Enjoy the banter in Moore Street Market, one of the oldest and most endangered in Dublin.
6 Check out the shopping in the ILAC centre or Jervis St shopping Centres.
7 Or dip into Arnotts on Henry St, one of our indigenous department stores which is constantly upping its game.
8 Visit Irish celebrity chef, Clodagh McKenna's restaurant upstairs there.
9 Gaze up at Spire on O'Connell Street or the Stiletto in the Ghetto as us Dubliners call it.
10 Post a card from the GPO, our General Post Office on O'Connell Street scene of the 1916 rising.