The National Gallery of Ireland & The Iveagh Gardens

21 Jan

By Brooke Ballengee

Destination: The Irish National Gallery

I am not a huge art person. Especially when it comes to actually being able to hold a conversation about artwork. My critiques usually range from “Oooooo awesome, pretty” to “Eh I’ll skip this room” to “Yeah, I don’t like this one”. Pretty intellectual right? All that being said I really enjoyed the National Gallery. For logistical reasons, it was free of charge and the perfect size for the average interested student. Speaking to the art, the gallery had a lot of very beautiful pieces.

I found Yeats’ artwork to be particularly inspirational. His unique style alone is pretty impressive. Again, not the art guru over here, so forgive the lack of technical terms. You have to stand back a have the entire paiting in focus to see the picture. Often, there are pieces of black canvas that never met the end of Yeats’ paintbrush. It amazes me how he could create such complex images with such indistinct lines. On top of his style, his pictures tell stories. Below are two works that may help you to understand the style I’m talking about. The first oil painting below is titled Grief. Up close, it’s just blotches of paint, but if you take a step back you can see a mob of people running from a foreboding figure on horseback. In the foreground you can see a mother holding her baby, protecting it. The photo here of course can’t do it justice, so you will have to take my word for it that it’s a beautiful piece of art.


Here’s just another example of Yeats’ art.


The colors are much more vivid in real life.

I’m just saying this is good stuff. Even for uncultured peasants such as I.

Side Stop: The Iveagh Gardens

You won’t find this one in any tourist books or travel magazines. That’s because it isn’t a particularly unique piece of green space in Ireland. Not being unique, doesn’t mean it isn’t breathtakingly beautiful though. I think one thing makes me admire these parks that can be spotted across the cities of Ireland, is the feel of old age and natural beauty that has survived the tests of time. In stark contrast to most parks in the States I have encountered, the plants are full and grown out. The trees haven’t been uprooted and implanted strategically. Things just grow. The stone work seems aged (how aged in reality I can’t say). There are dark gray fountains and walls rather than brick bathrooms and chain fences. I found the Iveagh Gardens to be extremely simple and peaceful. If you catch my drift, I liked the park. I think these kinds of gardens/parks are just one small example of the depth of history that this country has that perhaps the United States just can’t replicate. It’s difficult to build age and history into infrastructure.


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