National Gallery of Ireland
Ireland, Dublin (city)

Compared with the leading galleries and museums in Europe, the National Gallery of Ireland is small and young, it was opened only 150 years ago, but the collection collected here is magnificent. On four floors of a fairly compact building, designed by Francis Fowk, you can see the paintings of the leading masters of most European schools of painting. The contemporary collection of paintings includes more than fourteen thousand works, among which are real masterpieces by Titian, Caravaggio, Velazquez, Goya, Picasso, Vermeer and many other famous European artists. But at the time of opening, the exposition totaled only one hundred and twelve works, of which thirty were borrowed from the National Gallery of London.
In June 1852, a prominent Irish industrialist and philanthropist William Dargan, inspired by the annual London Crystal Hall exhibitions, turned to the Royal Society of Dublin with the idea of holding a similar event in the capital of Ireland. A year later, on the lawn of Lenster House, in a series of specially built pavilions, a large industrial exhibition was held, which also presented art objects. The success of the event was huge, which testified to the desire of Dubliners to art and the need to create a permanent exhibition. Over the next ten years, a specially created Dargan committee was involved in fundraising, project development, site selection, and finally, building construction. In 1864, the National Gallery of Ireland was officially opened to the public. Two years later, a large annual grant was allocated for the development of the gallery, which allowed us to constantly replenish the collection. At the very beginning of the twentieth century, thanks to the generous gift of Countess Milltown, the museum's exposition was replenished with a collection of silver, furniture, books and more than two hundred thousand paintings. There were so many treasures that for their placement it was decided to build a new wing, named after a generous donor. It should be noted that this was not the last gift, thanks to which the gallery's exposition was significantly increased both in qualitative and quantitative terms. In 1968, the gallery building was again completed. The new wing, designed by architect Frank Duberry, was named in honor of Sir Alfred and Lady Beit, who presented the gallery with seventeen priceless works by such masters as Diego Velazquez, Bartolome Esteban Murillo, Jan Vermer.
Today, the National Gallery of Ireland is not only a repository of art, but also a modern training center. Here, a whole series of developmental programs for children, educational programs for schoolchildren has been developed, constant conferences and master classes for students studying the theory and history of art, as well as just for people interested in painting, are held. The gallery has a store where you can buy books on the history of art, collections of reproductions and biographies of world artists. In the cozy cafe located on the first floor of the gallery you can taste classic Gaelic dishes.

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