Vermeer exhibition offers new insights into the painters of the Dutch Golden Age, writes Des O’Sullivan

The Vermeer exhibition is a remarkable summer offering now wowing the crowds at the National Gallery in Dublin.

The not-to-be-missed exhibition, which runs to September 17, offers new jinsights into the relationships Vermeer maintained with other painters of the Dutch Golden Age between 1650 and 1675. Scenes of everyday Dutch life from this period rank among the pinnacles of western European art.

This exhibition demonstrates how these masterpieces were achieved, in part thanks to a vibrant artistic rivalry among a number of talented painters in different cities across the Dutch Republic.

Detail from ‘Woman with a Balance’, c1663-4 by Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) from the Widener Collection, Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, in the National Gallery, Dublin now.
Detail from ‘Woman with a Balance’, c1663-4 by Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) from the Widener Collection, Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington, in the National Gallery, Dublin now.

They drew inspiration from each others paintings and tried to surpass one another. Vermeer is the most celebrated of these painters. This is the second largest exhibition of his work ever assembled.

The ten masterpieces in this show of 60 paintings amount to nearly one-third of his surviving works. The show is drawn from loans from major public and private collections around the world including leading galleries like the The Met in New York, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, the Staatliche Museum, Berlin, the Louvre in Paris, Stadel Museum, Frankfurt, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the National Gallery, London and the Royal Picture Gallery in The Hague.

It is laid out in an easy to follow format. The way in which the names of the works on show are clearly painted on the walls above rather than on adjacent labels, inhibits the kind of crowding around the picture that can be so particularly bothersome to viewers of blockbuster exhibitions. The newly unveiled multi-million euro refurbishment of The National Gallery has drawn widespread admiration.

The Merrion Square entrance to the refurbished National Gallery ofIreland.
The Merrion Square entrance to the refurbished National Gallery of

Ireland.

This is the must-see summer show of art in Ireland. Others around the country worth catching too, are The Way Home at the Crawford in Cork where a selection of paintings from the Great Southern Collection are on display until October 14. The exhibit takes its title from a painting by Daniel O’Neill and features Irish art from the mid to late 20th century.

At the Hunt Museum in Limerick the exhibition of work by Jack B Yeats and Paul Henry: Contrasting Visions of Ireland, runs until September 30.

‘Evening in Kerry’ by Paul Henry from the Yeats-Henry exhibition now on at the Hunt Museum inLimerick.
‘Evening in Kerry’ by Paul Henry from the Yeats-Henry exhibition now on at the Hunt Museum in

Limerick.

Vincent O’Brien’s sporting gun in sale

Sporting sale includes guns owned by a legend, writes Des O’Sullivan

A pair of 12 bore sporting guns once owned by legendary racehorse trainer Vincent O’Brien (1917-2009) will be among the highlights at the 50th annual sporting sale in the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, on August 28.

Remarkable summer offering at the restored National Gallery

They are included in Gavin Gardiner’s sale of around 200 lots of fine modern and vintage sporting guns, rifles and accessories from 1860 to the present day.

In 2003, Vincent O’Brien was voted the greatest trainer in horse racing history in a worldwide poll hosted by The Racing Post.

His six Derby winners included Nijinsky and Sir Ivor and he trained three Grand National winners in succession.

The “Premier Quality” sidelock ejector guns by EJ Churchill were built in 1928.

They were subsequently owned by Vincent O’Brien and the case bears his initials.

They are estimated at £8,000 to €12,000.


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