Unique views of Drogheda from the 1600s join Turner Watercolors at the National Gallery of Ireland for the 50th anniversary exhibition

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Francis Place (1647-1728), the Sunday Port Barbican, Drogheda Town Wall, County Louth (1). Photo © National Gallery of Ireland

The exhibition will be open for the month of January.

On January 1, 2022, Turner’s annual watercolor exhibition opens on-site and online at the National Gallery of Ireland.

“Turner & Place: Landscapes in Light and Detail” was canceled in 2021 when the gallery closed, due to COVID-19, following government advice. This year a group of 19 rare Irish topographic drawings from Francis Place (1647-1728), who visited Ireland in 1698, will join the exquisite collection of 31 luminous watercolors by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851).

2022 marks the 50th anniversary of the gallery’s acquisition of Place’s works – exhibited in their entirety for the first time since 1972 – which include the first views of Drogheda – depictions of Bullock Castle, County Dublin , ruins and a bridge at Drogheda, and the Sunday Port Barbican, Drogheda Town Wall – as well as scenes from Dublin, Kilkenny, Kildare and Waterford. A virtual exhibition will be available online for visitors wishing to experience the show from home.

Niamh macnally, curator of the exhibition, commented: “The jewel colors and experimental effects of Turner’s luminous watercolors are captivating, while the precise details of Place’s perspectives encourage close inspection, in an effort to identify what has changed, or even stayed the same, over time. Turner’s atmospheric watercolors can envelop the viewer, while Place’s carefully observed landscape studies contribute significantly to the topographical history of the towns and villages he represented in the later years of the 17th century. ”

The Views of Place are the earliest known representations of Drogheda, Dublin, Kilkenny and Waterford in the National Collection. This beautiful collection of old drawings, offering a glimpse of late 17th century Ireland, was purchased exactly 50 years ago through the Gallery’s Shaw Fund. The January 2022 exhibition gives the Museum the opportunity to showcase these two important collections of works on paper, both of which entered the Museum as a generous donation. It is the first time since 1972 that the rare drawings of Place will be exhibited to the public in groups.

Learn more about www.nationalgallery.ie.

Francis Place (1647-1728), the Sunday Port Barbican, Drogheda Town Wall, County Louth (2). Photo © National Gallery of Ireland

Francis Place (1647-1728), The ruins of St. Mary’s Abbey, Drogheda, County Louth (1 & 2). Photo © National Gallery of Ireland

Place Francis (1647-1728), Drogheda from the west, with the Abbey of Sainte-Marie. Ink, watercolor and wash on paper. Photo © National Gallery of Ireland


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