The Hugh Lane Gallery is the oldest gallery of modern and contemporary art in Ireland, housing 2,000 artworks, including Manet, Monet, Renoir and Degas, and the Francis Bacon studio. The gallery organises regular classical music concerts (Sundays at noon), lectures, etc.
The Hugh Lane Gallery first opened its doors in January 1908 in Clonmel House, Harcourt Street, and is thought to be among the first galleries of modern art in the world. In 1933 the Gallery moved to Charlemont House in Parnell Square, a neo-classical town house designed in 1765 by William Chambers for James Caulfield, the first Earl of Charlemont.
In 2006 a new extension designed by Gilroy McMahon saw the gallery double in size with additional space now available to show permanent collection items as well as facilitating temporary exhibitions. There is also a dedicated learning space, together with a bookshop and café.
The Gallery’s collection includes the renowned Hugh Lane Bequest 1917 (shared with the National Gallery, London) which includes masterpieces by Manet, Monet, Degas, Renoir and Morisot among others.
“The Eve of St Agnes”, the masterpiece of the renowned 20th Century stained glass artist, Harry Clarke, is very popular with visitors.
Francis Bacon’s legendary studio was relocated from 7 Reece Mews, London, to Dublin in 1998 and is now on permanent display. Together with fascinating unfinished works by Bacon, there are display cases presenting items from the studio, an audio visual room and touch screen terminals which allow the visitor to explore the life and art of one of the most important artists of the 20th Century.
The layout upon entering the Gallery can be confusing. If you turn right (passing the reception desk) and go up the stairs, you will visit the 2006 Extension where generally very modern works are exhibited. The Extension design is stark and cold. However, if upon entering the front doors of the Gallery, you stay on the ground floor and walk straight ahead for about eight metres, you will arrive at the Harry Clarke exhibit on your left, while a little further on are rooms displaying classic European artists, culminating with the striking Francis Bacon studio. The most rewarding part of one’s visit will be in this area.
Tues to Thurs: 9.45am – 6pm
Friday: 9.45am – 5pm
Saturday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday: 11am – 5pm