Tuesday, 25 July 2017



I spent a few days in Dublin last week and was standing outside the (newly-renovated) National Gallery of Ireland before the doors opened. Luckily, my hotel was only five minutes walk away, in the heart of Georgian Dublin where I'd happily spend an afternoon admiring front doors.
What a thrill to see ten Vermeers, almost a third of what survives, especially as the National Gallery on a weekday morning is a whole lot more conducive to enjoyment than battling crowds in the Louvre. (This exhibition won't be coming to London.)
But it wasn't just the Vermeers. The supporting cast was excellent, too.

The Slippers, Samuel van Hoogstraten




A Woman Playing a Clavichord, Gerrit Dou
Missed my favourite painting when I visited Dulwich a couple of weeks ago ... so that's where she was! 

Woman Reading a Letter, Gabriel Metsu

Feet protesting when I'd finished, I jumped on a hop on/off tourist bus for a sit-down, and found myself outside the Guinness brewery ... All I can say is, DON'T. Don't ever do this to yourself. Hot, noisy, crowded, devised by some sadistic mind for the torture of tourists -  but you have to admire the Irish, extracting €20 for a 'free' pint. And I don't even like Guinness. I managed half a pint in the overrated Gravity Bar, then scarpered. 

4 comments:

Sarah said...

I adore these Dutch interior paintings. My local NT house has a few interesting Dutch paintings but they are so badly displayed In a dingy corridor. Why do NT houses have to be so dark. I would rather they reverted to more limited opening times and pulled up the blinds occasionally. Did you visit the Vermeer exhibition at the Fitzwilliam, about five years ago? It was an unbelievable crush and we had to queue for about two hours even on a midweek January day. Have never been to Ireland, this exhibition may persuade me.

Mary said...

I didn't see the Cambridge exhibition, Sarah; the last one I remember was Vermeer and Music at the National Gallery, but I don't recall it having anything like as many Vermeers as this Dublin show. I was so pleasantly surprised by the lack of crowds; I'd expected to have to queue for each painting. There was only a handful of people waiting to get in at 9am. perhaps I was just lucky; I heard that it's much busier at weekends.

Toffeeapple said...

I would love to see those paintings, aren't they glorious?

I adore Dublin and must get my chap to take me there again.

Mary said...

It was so worth the trip, Toffeeapple - and quite a few new places opened in Dublin since I last visited. The Vermeer exhibition is on all summer, so now's your chance!