solving an art historical mystery, in the old Library Trinity College Long Room

Look at this bust of the great Roman orator, statesman, and lawyer, Marcus Tullius Cicero. It’s by the Flemish sculptor Peter Scheemakers (1691-1781) who in the 18th century was commissioned by Trinity College to carve the first 14 figures for their collection of marble sculpture busts featuring famous thinkers for the old library of Trinity College.… Read More solving an art historical mystery, in the old Library Trinity College Long Room

A History of the Easter Rising in 50 Objects. By John Gibney historian.

  A History of the Easter Rising in 50 Objects. By John Gibney historian. Some if not most readers may be familiar with Ireland in 100 Objects, a wide ranging history-through artifact book helmed by Fintan O’Tooole. Here in A History of the Easter Rising in 50 Objects, historian John Gibney (who I know, formerly… Read More A History of the Easter Rising in 50 Objects. By John Gibney historian.

Heavens’ embroidered cloth: Medieval buried Treasure.

Heavens’ embroidered cloth: – Medieval buried Treasure. Look at these…   They are the last complete set of mass vestments left intact in Northern Europe.  And they are  extraordinary in their history, their conception, and in quality. They sit now, in their light-controlled, temperature and humidity controlled, bullet-proof glass cases, in Waterford’s wonderful medieval museum. This… Read More Heavens’ embroidered cloth: Medieval buried Treasure.

Maps of Dublin, old Speed’s map reveals history of Dublin.

Old maps of Dublin: Viking & Medieval Dublin to the early modern era. 1,200 years of change. The image below is the first known image of Ireland. It was drawn as part of a larger map, around 200AD, by the legendary Ptolemy, often called the Father of Geography.   Culturally speaking, Ptolemy was Greek, but he… Read More Maps of Dublin, old Speed’s map reveals history of Dublin.

Stunning B&W short film- Diving into the River and Dublin Canal Basins. Unmissable.

There’s been quite a lot of response to the 40-Foot Christmas swim pictures, so I thought I’d share this extraordinary video, from the incredible long hot month of July here, our own heat wave. It’s become a faint memory, indeed seems more like a dream now, that magical month when we lay in the parks… Read More Stunning B&W short film- Diving into the River and Dublin Canal Basins. Unmissable.

The Oratory Chapel by Sister Concepta Lynch, old Domincan Convent, Dun Laoghaire (Co Dublin)

Look at this. I thought you’d enjoy these wonderful mural paintings.   For those who do not know them they’re in a tiny chapel called the Oratory, which is the last remaining survivor of the old Dominican Convent in Dun Laoghaire,  (the town just south of Dublin where I grew up). Most of the convent… Read More The Oratory Chapel by Sister Concepta Lynch, old Domincan Convent, Dun Laoghaire (Co Dublin)

Eileen Gray at IMMA, thoughts & reflections.

To mark the screening of the RTE documentary on Eileen Gray next Tuesday and the publication of an important new book on Gray’s Life and work by design historian Jennifer Gough, we re-visit this personal appraisal, written during October 2013 in response to the Eileen Grey retrospective at IMMA… The Irish Museum of Modern Art, recently… Read More Eileen Gray at IMMA, thoughts & reflections.

Cathars | Cathartic.

Another, final post from wonderful Languedoc.  So many wondrous things to see and do; walking or boating the gorgeous Canal de Midi… …to exploring superb architecture… and extraordinary ecclesiastical art…. …to hillwalking the landscapes of mountain and dramatic, steep sided river valleys. But what makes Languedoc unique, and gives the area its extraordinary  atmosphere of mystery and… Read More Cathars | Cathartic.