Updates

The vision of the Irish Georgian Society is to conserve, protect and foster a keen interest and a respect for Ireland’s architectural heritage and decorative arts. These aims are achieved through its scholarly and conservation education programmes, through its support of conservation projects and planning issues, and vitally, through its members and their activities.

Celebrating the Irish Country House Garden

25.06.2021

Posted by IGS

From 23rd September to late November, the IGS is hosting Stepping Through the Gate: Inside Ireland's Walled Gardens. Click here to learn more.

Ballynure, County Wicklow

Lesley Fennell (Stepping through the Gate, Inside Ireland's Walled Gardens)

Thanks to its temperate climate and wide variety of trees and plants, Wicklow has long been known as the Garden of Ireland. Some of the best-known and most-visited gardens in the country can be found here: Powerscourt, Killruddery, Mount Usher and Kilmacurragh. There are also many private properties which possess outstanding gardens and demesnes, one of them being Ballynure. The site was originally part of an outlying farm for the Cistercian abbey at Baltinglass, their presence always an indication of rich farmland. In the post-Reformation era, Ballynure was granted by James I to the forebears of the present owner. A Jacobean house was erected, evidence of which can be found in the cellars. The present building dates from c.1800 and has a five-bay façade flanked by gabled, single-bay projections (with their equivalent to the rear). These projections have tripartite windows and, like the rest of the building, overhanging bracketed eaves which here create pediments for the gables. Aside from some minor alterations, little has changed since. Ballynure is approached along a drive of one and three-quarter miles through parkland notable for its fine trees, including beeches, oaks and limes. Over the past quarter century, many improvements have been made to the gardens, which had been developed over the previous 200 years, not least by the present owner’s grandmother, a woman of great energy and a keen gardener.

Robert O’Byrne

The Irish Georgian Society is most grateful to Susan Burke and her late husband Coley who were the inspiration for and provided generous funding for these exhibitions. We also wish to thank the Apollo Foundation, Northern Trust Corporation, Beth Dater, Sheila O’Malley Fuchs, Hindman Auctions, Kay and the late Fred Krehbiel, Jay & Silvia Krehbiel, Frank Saul, John & Nonie Sullivan, Robert & Gloria Turner, and The Heritage Council.



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'Print REbels' exhibition at the City Assembly House 9th July-27th August 2021

22.06.2021

Posted by IGS

Headlights Over the Hill, Seaford. Sir Francis (Frank) Job Short RA PPRE, (English, 1857-1945) 1927

This is amongst Short's rarest and his most highly sought after prints: an edition of 50 was planned but only 34 were printed, plus a handful of proofs, before the clarity of the mezzotint gave way; 22 impressions are in gallery and museum collections. It is an excitingly modern translation of the traditional lamplit theme to an up-to-the-minute night image of an approaching car's headlights on the coast road from Seaford to Newhaven in Sussex. Martin Hardie writes: "The flash of a car's headlights on the coast road from Seaford to Newhaven; in the distance, Seaford Head, and the English Channel to the right." This mezzotint was exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers and Royal Hibernian Academy in 1927.

Mezzotint is an intaglio process and created by indenting the metal printing plate by rocking a toothed metal tool across a metal surface. Each pit holds ink and if printed at this stage the image would be pitch black. However, the printmaker creates dark and light tones by gradually rubbing down or burnishing the rough surface to various degrees of smoothness to reduce the ink-holding capacity of areas of the plate. Short’s compositions redefine mezzotint.

Frank Short lived and worked in London and Sussex for most of his life. He is considered one of the leading figures in the field of etching and drypoint and responsible for reviving interest in aquatint and mezzotint techniques.

Edward Twohig RE (Fellow)

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON 'PRINT REBELS'

'Print REbels' at the City Assembly House would not have been possible with the financial support of Northern Trust (Ireland), the Heritage Council and Camilla McAleese.

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'Print REbels' exhibition at the City Assembly House 9th July-27th August 2021

15.06.2021

Posted by IGS

Mytton Hall, Sir Francis Seymour Haden CMG FRCS PPRE, (English, 1818-1910), September 1859

Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1864 this composition shows the entrance to Mytton Manor Hall in slanting evening light. It is an early example of Haden’s innovative style in which the black velvet burr of drypoint for rich contrasts of light and shadow is exploited. Although drawn initially on the spot, this copper plate went through many states: showing subtle yet vital variations, particularly in the foreground.

Unlike the works of other Victorian etchers, which were mostly narrative in subject and style, this composition is naturalistic, not intended as decorative or anecdotal. This approach was to have far-reaching influence on other etchers and was the reason Haden became established as the leading figure of the British Etching Revival. Haden stayed sometimes three times a year, between 1855 and 1895, at Mytton Hall Hotel, a distinctive Tudor manor house near the village of Whalley in Lancashire, on his salmon fishing trips to the River Ribble nearby. Today, the slightly renamed Mitton is still in business and the architecture depicted in this composition remains unaltered.

Haden was awarded a medal in the 1893 International Exhibition in Chicago for Mytton Hall. This drypoint was published as print number XXIV in Etudes a L’Eau-Forte in 1866.

Edward Twohig RE (Fellow)

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO ON ‘PRINT REBELS’

'Print REbels' at the City Assembly House would not have been possible with the financial support of Northern Trust (Ireland), the Heritage Council and Camilla McAleese.



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Celebrating the Irish Country House Garden

10.06.2021

Posted by IGS

From 23rd September to late November, the IGS is hosting Stepping Through the Gate: Inside Ireland's Walled Gardens. Click here to learn more.

Abbey Leix, County Laois

Maria Levinge (Stepping through the Gate, Inside Ireland’s Walled Gardens)

Abbey Leix was designed in 1773 by fashionable London architect James Wyatt for Thomas Vesey, second Lord Knapton, who became first Viscount de Vesci three years later. The house, as originally built, was an elegant three-storey Classical mansion of seven bays, the three at the centre under a pedi ment. Alterations and extensions were made to the property in the mid-19th century by the third Viscount whose wife Emma laid out a series of terraces to the rear; these are said to have been inspired by the terraces at Alupka in the Crimea, the palace of Lady de Vesci’s grandfather, Prince Worontsov.

In 1995 Abbey Leix was bought by Sir David Davies, now President of the Irish Georgian Society, who embarked on a spectacular restoration, not just of the house but also the demesne, throughout which he has planted a vast number of specimen trees, as well as creating a new arboretum and a new pinetum. The estate’s walled garden, which is accessed via a wrought-iron gate incorporating Emma de Vesci’s initials, lies to the north-west of house and is divided into four compartments, which prior to 1995 had been used as a horse paddock. Each of the four sections now has its own distinctive character, one being planted with Norwegian maple in the geometric pattern of a repeating quincunx, another serves as a ‘Connoisseurs’ Walk featuring many rare plants. Of the other two, one, which contains the frame of the former greenhouses, is a working nursery while the other, seen in this painting, serves as a cut flower garden. In the centre of the space, a low polygonal plinth holds a sundial; designed by Sir Mark Lennox Boyd and presented to Sir David Davies on his 70th birthday by Dame Vivien Duffield.

Robert O’Byrne

The Irish Georgian Society is most grateful to Susan Burke and her late husband Coley who were the inspiration for and provided generous funding for these exhibitions. We also wish to thank the Apollo Foundation, Northern Trust Corporation, Beth Dater, Sheila O’Malley Fuchs, Hindman Auctions, Kay and the late Fred Krehbiel, Jay & Silvia Krehbiel, Frank Saul, John & Nonie Sullivan, Robert & Gloria Turner, and The Heritage Council.



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‘Print REbels’ exhibition at the City Assembly House 9th July - 27th August 2021

09.06.2021

Posted by IGS


Saint Eustace, Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471-1528) c. 1501 | Engraving | B 57, M 60

Dürer’s largest engraving depicts the moment of conversion of the Roman General Placidus. While hunting, Placidus sees a crucifix miraculously appear between a stag’s antlers. The stag speaks in Christ’s voice and the general falls form his horse, going on to become a Christian baptized with the name Eustace.

This composition has long been admired as an exemplar of Dürer’s extraordinary virtuosity; the animals and creatures of the landscape served as models for artists for the next two centuries. The animals are confidently portrayed and particularly notable are the five hunting dogs carefully posed to show different aspects of the canine figure; standing to left, standing to right ,seated, crouching and lying in a sacra conversazione.

Edward Twohig RE (Fellow)

Click here for more info on 'Print REbels'

'Print REbels' at the City Assembly House would not have been possible with the financial support of Northern Trust (Ireland), the Heritage Council and Camilla McAleese.

Read more

Frederick A. Krehbiel (1941-2021)

08.06.2021

Posted by IGS

Fred Krehbiel

The Irish Georgian Society was greatly saddened to learn of the death last week in Chicago of Frederick A. Krehbiel (June 2, 1941 ~ June 3, 2021), a great champion of Ireland's art and architecture and a dear friend to many. Our thoughts are with his family at this sad time. Ní bheidh a leithéid ann arís.
An obituary has been published on the website of Powell Funeral Directors: https://www.powellfuneraldirec...

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