Before entering the indoors I wanted to check out something in the courtyard of the castle. I heard artists were creating sand sculptures there. Now, we all know our usual sand sculptures, we’ve seen them on Grafton street among many other famous street artists “work places.” I have nothing bad to say about those lovely sandy dogs lying there, nothing at all, in fact, I think it’s great to see any form of talent on the streets every day! The sculptures in the Upper Courtyard in the Castle are something else though, I have to say! First, they are huge! Made with extreme attention to detail, so smooth and angular at the same time. The sculptures are being made out in the open, everyone has a chance to go see and explore the art in progress. The sculptures should be ready on Sunday the 4th and are there on display until 28th of August. The sculptures hold a theme “The Bright Side” and isn’t the name itself already a great reason to go see them? These times, anything with a name that has Bright in it, is worth seeing!
Albert Chester Beatty (in one very short sentence) was a New York mining engineer with a huge passion for culture and art of the world who later in life moved to London and then in 1950 to Ireland. Before moving to Ireland he had travelled a lot with his second wife Edith Dunn in North Africa and Asia and his collection of manuscripts, icons, books, paintings and many more objects of different cultures and religions was remarkable. After his death, his collection was bequeathed to a trust to benefit of the public. Isn’t that nice? ;) Now some of it is on display in a gallery named after him. When I say some, I mean, they display little bits of it for some time and then change the selection. I think I read it somewhere: they display only 1% at one time. That really gives a good idea of how big is this man’s legacy...
I have to say, Asian art has never really “touched” me, I have visited the library before and always felt I am not yet ready to explore it all. But it is most interesting, the displays of so many different places, eras, cultures, religions, and most are centuries old! As it is important to many, it has to be said – a visit to the gallery costs you nothing, it is for free! So definitely a must see while you’re here in Dublin!
What I really like are paintings. Call me boring (and I’ll call you boring too, it is only a difference of opinions! :) ) but I like old school beautifully painted colourful paintings of people, fields, houses, towns, flowers, animals.. I find something calming in looking at them, to see how the brush has worked on the canvas to create a masterpiece. The details you can find, even the somewhat creepy ones are beautiful!
So as I found out, there was an exhibition just for my taste being on display in the library: Chester Beatty: the Paintings (until 31st of August 2013). Like an exited little child I climbed the stairs to go see what they have available for me to explore. It was beautiful! A room quite small but in there are just enough paintings to meet my time available today. Among others I was able to find a few favourites. So, here are what I liked most and encourage you to go see:
My superb favourite was this one: Jean-François Raffaëlli – The Alexander III Bridge, Paris (1910) I was looking at it before I read the sign next to the painting. I was thinking of where would I put the painting in my own home and came up with my bedroom. It is funny that a scene most public can be painted to make you feel most intimate. As I read the sign it said the painting used to hang in Beatty’s bedroom… Mr Beatty and I have something in common when it comes to hanging paintings of bridges in our homes..
Narcisse Berchere – An Arab Caravan Resting (c1865) This one I loved because I found similarities of how I sometimes love to take a photo- about 90 per cent of it being the sky with its bright blue colour and the massive impressionist clouds. It makes you feel truly small but powerful, beautiful and grateful..
Jules Breton – The Gleaners (1854)
Léon Augustin Lhermitte - Harvesters at Rest (1888)
Thomas Couture – Le Peinture realiste (1865) A very realistic scene, you may look at this painting hundreds of times and it will make you feel about life and art differently every time.
A lovely day out for your mind and soul! :)
Find more information about Chester Beatty Library here
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Here are the photos we made today