Art-loving groups could easily spend hours taking in the wonder and beauty of some of the masterpieces on display in the National Gallery. Its collection is small, but exquisite, and boasts works from many of the finest artists the world has ever seen.
Situated right in the city centre, the National Gallery first opened its doors in 1864. Today, the museum is home to over 500 major works of art including, Hogarth, Poussin, Monet, Goya, Picasso, Titian, Caravaggio, Vermeer and Rubens. In total, the museum boasts over 11,000 art pieces ranging from paintings and watercolours to drawings, prints and sculptures.
The gem in the National Gallery is no doubt Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ”. The painting had been lost for 200 years, until it was re-discovered in a Dublin Jesuit house in 1993, where it had been mistaken the entire time for a mere copy of the original. Other must-see pieces are Giovanni Lanfranco’s magnificent “Last Supper”, as well as “The Fisherman’s Mother” by Helen Mabel Trevor (you’d nearly swear it’s 3D!).
The National Gallery is free to explore, with admission charges required only for special exhibitions. Groups are more than welcome too, and guided tours can be provided if booked at least two weeks in advance. This can be a general tour or you can specify a theme-whatever floats your boat! Prices can be negotiated during booking.
If you can appreciate a fine piece of art, then it really is well worth taking time out for a leisurely stroll around this beautiful gallery. The place is huge though, and first time visitors often have to settle on just seeing the Gallery’s highlights. So it’s a good idea, when you first enter the museum, to pick up a leaflet with a floor plan. That way you’ll make sure to see the cream of the crop!