Chester Beatty Library
Review of Dublin Art Museum and Gallery: Group/Solo Shows, Exhibiting Artists, Opening Hours.

Irish Art Exhibitions

Christ, Rosarium of Phillip II of
Spain (c.1530) by Unknown Artist.

Chester Beatty Library

Established in Dublin in 1950, the Chester Beatty Library is an art museum and library housing the extraordinary collection of rare illuminated manuscripts, drawings, prints, miniature portrait painting, and decorative art from the great cultures and religions of the world, collected by Sir Alfred Chester Beatty (1875-1968).

One of the most important contributors to the visual arts scene in Ireland, Regarded as one of the leading "boutique" museums, its diverse range of exhibits comprises a representative sample of the world's ancient art and cultural heritage from about 2700 BCE to the present day.

A Lady Prepares a Meal
(c.1810) by Unknown Artist.

A Woman After Her Bath (1920)
by Hashiguchi Goyo.

Western Arts of Antiquity and Renaissance Eras

Among the highlights illustrating the history of Western art and culture in the Chester Beatty Library, are Egyptian papyrus texts dating from the second to the fourth century AD, consisting of the earliest known copies of the four gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Letters of St Paul, as well as the Book of Revelation and numerous very early Old Testament fragments.

These treasures make the Chester Beatty Library one of the preeminent sources for scholars in both the Old and New Testaments. In addition, there are a large number of rare European manuscripts from medieval, Renaissance and modern times.

Saint Mark the Evangelist (c.1100)
by Unknown Artist.

For other library collections of
Muslim culture, see:
Museums of Islamic Art.

Eastern Arts and Culture

The library's Islamic collection consists of almost 4,000 Arabic, Persian and Turkish manuscripts including many exceptionally rare copies of the Qur'an. The collection is noted around the world for the high quality and scope of its exhibits, which include examples of the earliest Islamic manuscripts, dating to the ninth and tenth centuries CE, (third century of hijra). Indeed, the Chester Beatty's Qur'an Collection is comparable only to that of the Topkapi Sarayi museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Collection highlights include the magnificent Qur'an written by the famous calligrapher Ibn al-Bawwab in Baghdad in 1001, and a Qur'an dating from 972, the earliest-dated Qur'an copied on paper, and another transcribed some 900 years later for the Ottoman Sultan 'Abdulmecid.

Other highlights of Islamic art and culture in the Chester Beatty Library, include its collection of single-page paintings and a rare collection of Persian miniature paintings.


Other Cultural Treasures

Highlights of Chinese and other Oriental art include: outstanding Buddhist paintings, the largest collection of jade books from the Imperial Court outside China and a large collection of rare textiles and decorative objects. Its decorative arts include rare Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints by Hokusai (1760-1849) and Hiroshige (1797-1858) - the two greatest masters of the genre - Chinese dragon robes, and more.

The Chester Beatty Library was named European Museum of the Year in 2002.

The Top Irish Art Galleries

For reviews of the best museums of arts in Ireland, see:
- National Gallery of Ireland
- National Museum of Ireland
- Irish Museum of Modern Art
- Hugh Lane Gallery Dublin
- Trinity College Dublin Library
- National Self-Portrait Collection
- The Hunt Museum (Limerick)
- Ulster Museum.

Art Galleries Around the World

For the top venues, see: Best Art Museums.

• For details of other Leinster fine art exhibitions and collections, see: Irish Art Galleries and Museums.
• For details of the world's greatest galleries, see: Homepage.
• For venues in Ireland, like the Chester Beatty Library, see: Irish Art Guide and Ireland Visual Arts.

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