Thurs 25th, Dutch Genius & the Beit Gift, evening tour of Nat Gal 6-8pm.

With several of the paintings Sir Alfred and Lady Beits left to Russborough House threatened with imminent sale abroad and in the news at present,  it seems a timely moment to explore, cherish and celebrate those other exceptional paintings from the Beit collection given to the National Gallery of Ireland back in 1986.   Accordingly, we have taken the plunge and invite you to to a special one-off tour at the NGI:

Apologies to our guests and newsletter subscibers: due to unforeseen circumstances, the June edition of this tour (6pm Thursday 25th June) has been cancelled.  There will be other DublinDecoded events throughout the summer from mid-July, including 8 tours of Georgian architecture in 4 different quarters of the city.  We’ll also run the Dutch Art tour again, in autumn 2015 as a public tour, open to everyone.  In the meanwhile, all Dublin Decoded tours (from the homepage of our website) are also available for booking as private tours, on flexible dates and most afternoons.  All details available on our 2 websites:  and / or  

Thank you for your understanding

Dutch Art Tour spec:  In this unique tour we focus on one of the strongest elements of the Beit 1986 bequest, the superb tranche of Dutch Art from the 17th century, and a few other works from the same era, aptly named the Dutch Golden Age.  We’ll run the rtour again, autumn 2015.   More details below.


Everyone is very welcome, you certainly don’t need to be any sort of art historian or  connoisseur to participate.  Dublin Decoded tours are informal, guided discussions, aimed at making the best ideas accessible and interesting.  This tour will be no exception as we take our time to enjoy and appreciate works ranging from Biblical scenes by Rembrandt to School-rooms by van Steen; a snowy winter scene by Lastman; mysterious interiors by Vermeer and Metsu or a glorious landscape by van Ruisdale.

van Ruisdale’s  stunning work Castle at Beintheim is a good example of how our focus on just a handful of paintings works.  This mighty castle dominating a landscape of richly forested hillside and tiny houses is something of a miracle, both microscopic and epic in its depiction, with the smallest figures painted in a single stroke, sometimes from one hair of paintbrush.

How did the artist, how did so many Dutch artists of the time,  achieve their unparallelled level of virtuosity and verisimilitude?    On a deeper level, what might such works tell us, about Dutch culture of the time, their values and attitudes; strengths, fears, and hopes?

van Ruisdale

van Ruisdale detail

We’ll also look at Dutch interiors, such as the quiet beautiful “domestic” spaces of Johann Vermeer and Gabriel Metsu.  These legendary pictures seem deceptively simple. They can of course be enjoyed for their quiet, enigmatic beauty.  But they also sometime reveal a surprisingly layered, rich web of clues and symbols, telling stories or meditating on morals, with their beautifully elusive, subtle use of allegory marking them out as works of singular genius.   With patience and application, we’ll tease out such clues and meanings,  and  increase our appreciation along the way.

Metsu symbols

In short there will be plenty of hidden details and surprises.  Every tour is a special experience, relaxed and convivial, and this in particular is one not to be missed.

Meet Details: Please meet your guide, Arran,   inside the foyer of National Gallery, (via the Clare Street entrance)  at or by the bookshop entrance, at 17.55 if possible,  5 minutes before our 6pm start.   Please note this is a ticketed event.  Tickets may be purchased via this link  please and presented on arrival if possible.  By arrangement with the NGI, numbers are strictly limited.  The fee €18.35 p/p, inclusive of all online booking charges.

Feel free to share with any art lovers you know; come solo or bring a friend.  Thank you for reading.

Hendrick Avercamp Scene on Ice

Reviews of our Art events, history and art tours, may be found on TripAdvisor under our banner Dublin Decoded.

Vermeer NGI

One thought on “Thurs 25th, Dutch Genius & the Beit Gift, evening tour of Nat Gal 6-8pm.

  1. Hi Arran,

    I would love to get involved with the DublinDecoded team (is that only you?:-). Please contact me if you can. Regards,


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