Art Lover’s Guide to Dublin
Dublin’s cultural legacy and irrepressible creative spirit ensures there is no shortage of museums, galleries, studios, public artworks, and street art. From libraries to art-focused museums to city streets, here are the best places in the Irish capital for art lovers to visit.
Trinity College Library
This library is home to one of the most precious pieces of art in Ireland: the Book of Kells. Created by monks in the ninth century, this illuminated medieval manuscript is kept behind glass in Trinity’s Old Library and is a popular attraction for visitors to Dublin. Book an early-access tour to allow you to view the book without the crowds.
National Gallery of Ireland
This gallery’s collection is dominated by Irish and European artists, from Jack B. Yeats (brother of poet W.B. Yeats) to Rembrandt. Among the National Gallery of Ireland’s most famous works is Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ, which was recovered from the house of a religious order after having been “lost” for years.
City Center Street Art
In recent years, Dublin’s city center has been brightened up by the addition of large-scale murals and street art pieces, which can be found at the likes of Love Lane in the Temple Bar neighborhood and along Drury Street. Most tours of the city will take you past some of the most eye-catching pieces.
Irish Museum of Modern Art
Housed inside the 17th-century Royal Hospital of Kilmainham, which was modeled on Paris’ Les Invalides, the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) collection includes an impressive array of modern and contemporary art, with works from the likes of Marina Abramović and Dublin-born painter Louis Le Brocquy.
Hugh Lane Gallery
Though small in size, this compact gallery manages to pack in plenty of masterpieces, including works by French impressionists Monet, Renoir, and Degas. It’s also home to Francis Bacon’s studio, which was transported here piece by piece—clutter and all—from London.