Visual Arts in Waterford
Cultural History, Viking Influence, Famous Artists (Thomas Sautelle Roberts) and Art Galleries.

County Waterford, Munster Province,
Republic of Ireland.

Note: For the history of Celtic culture
and examples of ancient metalwork
created by the first Celts, see:
Celtic Art. For a guide to the earliest
styles, which influenced so many
Irish draughtsmen and metalworkers
during the renaissance of the early
Christian era, see: Hallstatt (800-450)
and La Tene (c.450-50 BCE).

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

Visual Arts in County Waterford

Lying along the south coast of Ireland, east of Cork in the province of Munster, County Waterford (Port Láirge) has a population of 101,546. Established in the ninth century by Viking invaders, Waterford City is now the fifth largest metropolis in the Republic of Ireland and is world famous for its Waterford Crystal glass.

Famous Artists

Celebrated artists born in or associated with County Waterford include: the family of landscape painters Thomas Roberts and Thomas Sautelle Roberts, the Neo-classical sculptor John Hogan (1800-58); Niccolo D'Ardia Caracciolo, (Landscape Artist and Portrait Painter); Peter Curling, (Equestrian Artist); Arthur K Maderson, (Contemporary Figurative Artist); Thomas Roberts, (Landscapes); Colin Crotty, (Landscape and Figurative Painter); Douglas Manson Dennehy, (Landscapes); Michael Angelo Hayes, (Watercolour Artist and Animal Painter); William Howis, (Landscapes); Fergus Lyons, (Landscape and Rural Scenes); Michael Power O'Malley, (Genre Painter in the Traditionalist Style); Louisa Anne (Marchioness of) Waterford, (Religious and Genre Artist); Robert Lucius West, (Portrait and Subject Painter); Eveleen Power (acrylics landscape artist and portraitist).

Femme Fatale, by Waterford artist
Niccolo d'Ardia Caracciolo.

Art Centres and Venues

An important regional centre of Irish art, Waterford has numerous art galleries and other venues showing a range of Irish painting and Irish sculpture. These include: the Municipal Art Gallery, Greyfriars, Waterford; Solo Arte Art Gallery (051-355758), Dyehouse Gallery (051-844-770), Garter Lane Arts Centre (051-855038), the Mary Street Gallery, the Pauline Bewick Collection at the Waterford Institute of Technology, as well as Joan Clancy Gallery, Dungarvan (058-46205); Jones Art Gallery, Dungarvan (058-45610); Lismore Castle Arts, Lismore (058-54061); The Old Market House Arts Centre, Dungarvan (058-48944). See also Artlinks.

Waterford Heritage Centre
Between 1985 and 1992, excavations in Waterford yielded an amazing collection of artworks and artifacts from the Viking and medieval era. Almost 200 Viking houses were excavated and most of the items found, dating back to between the 11th and 13th centuries were perfectly preserved due to the waterlogged soil. Many examples are on show here, including ceramic pottery, coins, textiles, metalwork and jewellery.

Permanent Art Collection

The city of Waterford has one of the best municipal collections in Ireland, featuring some of the best painters in the history of Irish art. Centred in the Waterford Municipal Art Gallery, it contains over 200 paintings and sculptures, including works by Jack B Yeats, the world-famous expressionist; Louis Le Brocquy, one of the greatest 20th century Irish artists; Paul Henry, the internationally acclaimed Belfast-born landscape artist; and Carey Clarke, the renowned still life artist.


In addition, the city contains works by several local artists, including:

Thomas Sautelle Roberts (1760-1826)
A founder member of the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA), his landscape painting "West View of the City of Waterford" features a view of the first bridge to cross the river Suir.

Christopher (Con) Fay (b. 1920)
Attended the National College of Art in Dublin under Sean Keating. A renowned local landscape painter, his painting "Applemarket" (1989) features the long-established trading area in the city.

Robert Burke (b.1909)
A former head of the Waterford School of Art, he studied at Edinburgh School of Art, specializing in plein-air works like his watercolour painting "Unloading at Customs House" which features the busy Waterford quays in the 1940s.

Michael O'Connell (b.1918)
Known for his oil painting of the landscape and scenes of Waterford, his picture "William Street Bridge" is a colourful portrayal of the bridge spanning St. John's River in Waterford City.

The Waterford Arts Festival

One of the highlights of County Waterford's arts calendar is the annual arts festival (Oct). Its events and activities encompass a wide range of art media, including painting, ceramics, video, fine art photography, installation art, land art and much more.

Per Cent For Art Scheme

Waterford is an active participant in the government's "Per Cent for Art" Scheme, designed to encourage Local Authorities across Ireland to commission artworks from Irish artists to coincide with new capital projects. Waterford County Council's arts program includes the following successful commissions.

"Golden Harvest" (2002) by Colm Brennan.
"Tobar Bride" (2003) by Cliodna Cussen
"Léimit an Bhradán" (2004) (Stained Glass) by Róisín Ní Chionnfhaolaidh

In addition, Waterford also commissioned the sculptor Eammon O'Doherty to create a 7-metre high sculpture, entitled "Damselfly". (2005)

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

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