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Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane
Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane Review
The Francis Bacon studio, reconstructed here exactly as the artist left it on his death (including his diary, books, walls, floors, ceiling, and even dust!), makes this already impressive gallery a must see for art lovers and fans of the renowned British artist. Built as a town house for the Earl of Charlemont in 1762, this residence was so grand that the Parnell Square street on which it sits was nicknamed "Palace Row" in its honor. Sir William Chambers, who also built the Marino Casino for Charlemont, designed the structure in the best Palladian manner. Its delicate and rigidly correct facade, extended by two demilune (half-moon) arcades, was fashioned from the "new" white Ardmulcan stone (now seasoned to gray). Charlemont was one of the cultural locomotives of 18th-century Dublin—his walls were hung with Titians and Hogarths, and he frequently dined with Oliver Goldsmith and Sir Joshua Reynolds—so he would undoubtedly be delighted that his home is now a gallery, named after Sir Hugh Lane, a nephew of Lady Gregory (W. B. Yeats's aristocratic patron). Lane collected both Impressionist paintings and 19th-century Irish and Anglo-Irish works. A complicated agreement with the National Gallery in London (reached after heated diplomatic dispute) stipulates that a portion of the 39 French paintings amassed by Lane shuttle between London and here. Time it right and you'll be able to see Pissarro's Printemps, Manet's Eva Gonzales, Morisot's Jour d'Été, and, the jewel of the collection, Renoir's Les Parapluies.
Irish artists represented include Roderic O'Conor, well known for his views of the west of Ireland; William Leech, including his Girl with a Tinsel Scarf and The Cigarette; and the most famous of the group, Jack B. Yeats (W. B.'s brother). The museum has a dozen of his paintings, including Ball Alley and There Is No Night. The mystically serene Sean Scully Gallery displays seven giant canvasses by Ireland's renowned abstract modernist. They also host free classical concerts every Sunday.
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