Visual Arts in Kilkenny
Cultural History, Norman Architecture, Famous Painters/Sculptors, Art Museums and Festival.

County Kilkenny, Leinster Province,
Republic of Ireland.

Note: For an outline of Celtic culture
along with ancient artworks of the
Celts, see: Celtic Art. For details of
the earliest styles, which influenced
so many Irish metalworkers during
the renaissance of the early Christian
era, see: Hallstatt (c.800-450 BCE)
and La Tene (c.450-50 BCE).

For a list of national sites of
noted historical, architectural or
artistic significance, see:
Architectural Monuments Ireland and
Archeological Monuments Ireland.

County Kilkenny: Arts

East of Tipperary and west of Carlow lies the inland County of Kilkenny (Cill Chainnigh) in the south east of Ireland, in the province of Leinster. It's population is 80,339 and its capital is the Norman City of Kilkenny, home to Kilkenny Castle and Saint Canice's Cathedral. Cill Chainnigh, the county name, means "Church of Canice".

Early Visual Arts

County Kilkenny contains several scriptural High Cross scuptures (eg. at Kilkieran, Kilree and Killamery), the unrivalled art form created by sculptors and stone masons during the medieval era in the history of Irish art. This public Irish sculpture, together with Christian illuminated manuscripts - both, examples of Irish monastic art - constitute two of Ireland's greatest achievements in the early visual arts. Kilkenny City is the county's medieval capital and Ireland's best example of Norman architecture. The county itself offers a wide range of historical religious sites, and is a national centre for crafts and design which are viewable at venues such as the National Craft Gallery in Kilkenny run by the city-based Crafts Council of Ireland.

See also Artlinks.

On the Road to Fontainebleu,
by Kilkenny artist John Lavery,
one of the greatest Impressionist
painters in the history of Irish art.

Famous Artists

Renowned Irish artists associated with Kilkenny include: Mildred Anne Butler, (Landscapes); John Doherty, (Photo-Realist Painter and Landscapes); William John Hennessy, (Landscape, Genre Painter, Illustrator); Bernadette Kiely (semi-abstract landscape painter); John Lavery, (Portraitist, War Artist); Hughie O'Donoghue, (Contemporary Artist); Tony O'Malley, (Abstract Landscape Painter); Helen Comerford, (Mixed Media Artist and Sculptress); Edmond Garvey, (Illustrator and Watercolour Landscapes); Carmel Mooney, (Contemporary andscapes); Paul Mosse, (Contemporary Mixed-Media Artist); Lady Charlotte Wheeler-Cuffe, (Botanical Artist).

Art Galleries

Venues in the county displaying quality Irish art include the following: Butler Gallery, Kilkenny (056-7761106); Blackbird Gallery, Kilkenny (056-7762050); Gallery One, Kilkenny (056-7721765); Hazel Williams Gallery, Kilkenny (086-1687044); Kilkenny CC Exhibition and Residency Space (056 779 4138); Kozo Studio and Gallery, Thomastown (056-7793265). Art groups include: Artcore Collective, Callan, County Kilkenny (086-2545411).

Kilkenny Arts Festival

Every August, Kilkenny city and county plays host to a wide-ranging program of visual and performing arts. Founded by a group of classical music enthusiasts the festival now encompasses theatre and dance, classical music, jazz, fine art painting, sculpture, installation art, public art like murals, literature, and youth culture. Recent Festival visual arts events have included: Art From India; an exhibition of artworks by Cerith Wyn Evans (UK), Maud Cotter (Ireland) and Antonio Riello (Italy); a show by paper artist, Polly Minett; paintings by Tony and Jane O’Malley; Retrospective of the Irish Ceramic Artist, John ffrench; an exhibition of Irish stained glass art.

• For more about Irish culture, see: Ireland Visual Arts.
• For more about the historical heritage of the province of Leinster, see: Homepage.
• For a list of the top living painters in Ireland, see: Best Irish Artists/Painters.
• For details of art museums in Ireland, see: Irish Art Galleries.

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