Friday, 18 July 2008

Another Gallery

This morning Jack and I crossed the river Liffey (yes, yes, we were Diffeys on the Liffey). We had only previously done this on the bus because the area we are staying in has all the good stuff, the National gallery, National museum, National Library, Trinity College (home of the Book of Kells and also where they filmed Educating Rita) as well as lots of shops and cafes. But I thought it would be worth it because the gallery had an interesting story attached to it.In the early twentieth century a man called Hugh Lane decided that Ireland needed its own museum of modern art and he set about acquiring the works for it. Unfortunately there wasn't a building to house them at that stage so he wrote a will and then added a codicil stating that when a suitable building should become available that that is where the artworks should go. Then he was killed when the ship he was on (the Lusitania) was torpedoed off the coast off Ireland. For years the paintings spent time in the National Gallery in London as the validity of the codicil was called into question. So this year is the first time that all of his paintings have been hung together in Ireland in the Hugh Lane Gallery. It's a lovely building and there were some very nice works. Again some Monet and Manet, Renoir, Degas and an Italian artist called Mancini whose works I had never seen. Man, he liked to lay the paint on nice and thick.
Ever since I'd read the the story about the gallery and Hugh Lane I had been keen to see it. Then the friendly guide at the gallery also mentioned that they had Francis Bacon's Studio there and I thought maybe some other time but I have to say it was a highlight. After his death the studio was bequeathed to this gallery and moved, even the stairs, to the gallery. I have no idea how they did it but I was very impressed. Apparently Francis found mess inspiring. He must've been VERY inspired.

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