herald

Tuesday 24 October 2017

Boyne painting so big it must be restored in Malahide Castle

Pearl O'Sullivan uses a swab during the conservation of Jan Wyck's painting,The Battle of the Boyne at Malahide Castle in Dublin
Pearl O'Sullivan uses a swab during the conservation of Jan Wyck's painting,The Battle of the Boyne at Malahide Castle in Dublin
Members of the public look at the on going conservation of Jan Wyck's painting,The Battle of the Boyne at Malahide Castle in Dublin
Corrie Tubman, NGI Conservator, working on The Battle of the Boyne painting in Malahide Castle where the project was launched (today 4th March). Visitors can follow progress on the conservation project online www.nationalgallery.ie or by visiting Malahide Castle

A unique painting of the Battle of the Boyne is being restored in a castle because it is too big to move off-site.

Dutch painter Jan Wyck's panoramic record of the largest battle ever fought on Irish soil was completed just three years after the 1690 clash between Protestant King William III and Catholic King James II.

Measuring more than three metres long and over two metres high, the impressive canvas has been hanging over the dining room of Malahide Castle, in north county Dublin, for the past 40 years.

Fourteen members of the Talbot family, who built the castle, died at the battle fighting for the Jacobites.

The painting was bequeathed to the National Gallery in 1936 and has been on loan to Malahide since 1976.

Its sheer size, reflecting the epic scale of the bloody milestone in Irish history, has forced the National Gallery of Ireland, which owns the painting, to restore it on site. Sean Rainbird, director of the gallery, said it needed renovation for a landmark exhibition of Irish history next year, as part of the Decade of Centenaries commemorations.

BOB2.jpg
Members of the public look at the on going conservation of Jan Wyck's painting,The Battle of the Boyne at Malahide Castle in Dublin

 

"Following completion of the project, the painting will return to the gallery for a period and will be one of the key works in our 2016 exhibition, Creating History: Stories of Ireland in Art, before retaking its place in the historically significant surroundings of Malahide Castle, where it has been on show for many years," he said.

Once restored, experts will have to remove the painting from its frame, and roll it up to get it out of the castle doors for its temporary move to the National Gallery. Wyck's vision captures the chaos and carnage of the battle at Oldbridge, in Co Meath.

With the help of funding by the William E Connor Foundation, two conservation experts are working full-time to painstakingly restore the centuries old painting in situ at Malahide Castle.

Visitors can catch a glimpse of the work as they pass by.

hnews@herald.ie

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