On Tuesday 12 May twenty-five members of the Association visited the National of Gallery of Ireland where we were very kindly treated to morning coffee in the Friends’ Room. We were greeted by Maureen Beary Ryan, Administrator of the Friends of the National Gallery, and her assistant Laura Buckley. Maureen gave us an overview of the paintings we were going to view and Laura described the history of part the house which is used by the Friends.
After coffee Maureen took us on a very informative tour of some of the Masterpieces of the Collection, including the famous Taking of Christ (1602) by Carravagio, which is on indefinite loan to the Gallery from the Jesuit Community, Leeson St., Dublin 2. Amongst the many masterpieces on display were Vermeer’s A Lady Writing a Letter, with her Maid (c.1670) and Man Writing a Letter (c 1664-1666) by Gabriel Metsu. We were also delighted to see the fully restored Monet, Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat (1874). This painting was very badly damaged while on public display and was restored by The Claude Monet Research and Conservation Project which began in June 2012.
The tour concluded with a very different theme. A new exhibition of modern art by the famous Irish painter, Sean Scully, opened in the Gallery on 9 May, in celebration of his 70th birthday where we were taken on a brief tour before going our separate ways.
Our thanks go to Maureen for giving so much of her time and knowledge to our members.