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National Gallery of Ireland – Virtual Tour

National Gallery of Ireland

National Gallery of Ireland – Virtual Tour

The National Gallery of Ireland is home to the national collection of Irish and European art.

The Gallery has an extensive collection of Irish painting and is also notable for its Italian Baroque and Dutch masters painting.

A Virtual Tour of the National Gallery of Ireland

Highlights Tour of the National Gallery of Ireland

“The Taking of Christ” by Caravaggio

“The Taking of Christ” by Caravaggio depicts the arrest of Jesus just as Judas kisses Jesus to identify him for the soldiers.

There are seven figures in the painting; they are John, Jesus, Judas, three soldiers, and a man holding a lantern to the scene. The figures are portrayed before a very dark background.

 The man at the right holding a lantern is believed to be a self-portrait of Caravaggio. At the far left, St John is fleeing as a soldier is grabbing his cloak.

The Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio would have had many influences on the composition of this masterpiece.

One of these influences may have been a 1509 woodcut by Albrecht Dürer in which the central group is comprised of Jesus, Judas, and the soldier with an outstretched hand, resembling this version of Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ.”

This story from the New Testament was in high demand as a painting, as there are at least 12 known actual copies of this painting.  At least one is believed to be an original copy made by Caravaggio.

“The Portrait of Doña Antonia Zárate” by Francisco Goya

“The Portrait of Doña Antonia Zárate” by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya is a portrait of the actress Antonia Zárate. It was produced in Goya’s studio, and it shows her wearing a fashionable black silk dress in the Empire style.

Fingerless white gloves cover her arms, she holds a closed fan, and a mantilla covers her head and shoulders.

Antonia Zárate was the daughter of an actor and director of a performing company.

She continued in the family tradition as an actress and singer with success throughout Spain but mainly acted in the Spanish capital, where she became a friend of Francisco Goya.

Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs by Frederic William Burton

“Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs” by Frederic William Burton depicts an imagined romantic moment from a story with a sad ending.

The story is taken from a medieval Danish ballad, which tells the story of Hellelil, who fell in love with her personal guard Hildebrand.

Her father disapproved of the relationship and ordered her seven brothers to kill the young prince. Burton portrays the final meeting of the two lovers.

The artist, Frederic William Burton (1816 – 1900) was an Irish painter. Educated in Dublin, he visited Germany and Bavaria in 1842.

He then started a series of trips to various parts of Europe, which allowed him to develop a profound knowledge of the works of the Old Masters.

From 1851 he spent seven years working as a painter in the service of Maximilian II of Bavaria.

“Cupid and Psyche in the Nuptial Bower” by Hugh Douglas Hamilton

“Cupid and Psyche in the Nuptial Bower” by Hugh Douglas Hamilton depicts the lovers in a woodland setting, where their pale bodies contrast dramatically with the dark surroundings. 

Psyche’s wings are those of a butterfly, a symbol of the soul, and consistent with Ancient Greek representations. In the bottom right of the painting, a butterfly rests on a rose.

The rose is an attribute of Cupid, as are his bow and quiver on the ground. Ivy growing in the background, meanwhile, represents immortality.

National Gallery of Ireland

  • Museum:              National Gallery of Ireland
  • City:                      Dublin
  • Established:         1864
  • Type:                    Art museum
  • Location:              Merrion Square West, Dublin, Ireland

Map for the National Gallery of Ireland

National Gallery of Ireland – Inspiration for the Nation

National Gallery of Ireland Virtual Tour


Explore European Museums

Irish Proverbs and Quotes

The National Gallery of Ireland has reopened

National Gallery of Ireland’s collection


“I complained that I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”
– Irish Proverb


Photo Credit: By Copyright © 2006 Kaihsu Tai (Copyright © 2006 Kaihsu Tai) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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