National Gallery. Under-rated!

National Gallery. Under-rated!
John McCormack by William Orpen
Men of Destiny by Yeats

Jack B. Yeats Show at National Gallery

The collection of Jack B. Yeats personal sketchbooks was the highlight of a recent visit to the National Gallery in Dublin. And a look at some of his paintings in another room was an even bigger highlight.

This is a significant selection of the sketchbooks which became an integral part of his artistic practice and he drew regularly upon them for inspiration for both the subject matter and composition of his more formal oil paintings. The exhibition is complemented by a digital presentation that allows visitors to browse through four complete sketchbooks in addition to letters and photographs selected from the Yeats Archive.

by Van Honthorst
 It is fascinating for an amateur like myself to go through the books, to be introduced to his wife Cottie and his dog Hooligan (what a great name), and then to go and see the big paintings nearby.

The sketchbooks are upstairs in the Beit Wing (Room 13) and the display continues until 5 May 2013. Admission free.

The full size works are currently on display in the Millennium Wing as part of the presentation, Masterpieces from the Collection. These include familiar works such as The Liffey Swim (1923), The Singing Horseman (1949), Men of Destiny (1946), A Lake Regatta (1923) and Above the Fair (1946).

There are many other works by Irish artists here including some by Paul Henry and this magnificent portrait of the singer John McCormack by William Orpen (top).

And that is not all. There is also a huge selection of European works. I thought all the Brueghel paintings were in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna but no, Dublin has a few. Goya, Pissarro, Picasso, even Van Gogh, are all represented.

The gallery, in Merrion Square West, is well worth a visit and there is no admission charge at all.

a Goya

Pieter Bruegel