National Self-Portrait Collection
Review of Gallery of Self-Portraiture in Limerick, Munster: Collection, Self-Portraits and Artists Shown, Opening Hours.

Irish Art Exhibitions


National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland

Housed at the University of Limerick, where it is on permanent display, The National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland now comprises over 400 self-portraits by native or resident Irish artists. The collection grows by invitations or commissions (based on a small honorarium), but mainly by donations or bequests from painters, sculptors or their families. Artists of all ages and both genders are well represented, and the self portraits span several centuries although they are mainly from the twentieth and ninteenth centuries.

For art-lovers who are unable to visit the Self-Portrait collection in person, all the self-portraits are available in two art books (Volume 1 and 2), produced by the Collection.

For a list of the most valuable
self-portraits to be sold at auction
by Sotheby's and Christie's, see:
Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings
For a list of the Top 10 works
by artists from Ireland, see:
Most Expensive Irish Paintings.

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
- Chester Beatty Library
- The Hunt Museum (Limerick)
- Ulster Museum.


Origins & History

Begun in 1980, with an initial purchase of 15 self-portraits from the art-collector and former Chairman of the Limerick Art Society John Kneafsey, the collection now includes works by painters, sculptors, printmakers, ceramicists, photographers and mixed media artists. Among the painters, are specialist 20th century portrait artists, landscape artists, Impressionist portraitists, genre painters, academic painters, abstract and conceptual artists, and others. The collection is a fascinating contribution to the visual arts in Ireland and is set to become an important part of the country's cultural heritage.

Although portraits in traditional oils are more numerous, the collection encompasses self portraits composed in a staggering variety of media types.


Types of Self Portrait

Paintings include those in: watercolour and crayon (eg. Louis le Brocquy); colour pencil on paper (eg. Jim Allen); regular pencil on paper (eg. Patrick Scott, Sarah Purser, Walter Osborne, Patrick Leonard); oil on board (eg. George Collie); watercolour and pencil (eg. Jack B. Yeats, Stephen McKenna); pastel on paper (eg. William Conor, Patrick Collins, Sean Keating); oil painting (by eg. Louis King Bradford, John Shinnors, William Leech, Patrick Hennessy, Niccolo d'Ardia Caracciolo); watercolour gouache on paper (eg. Dairine Vanston); gouache on paper (Mary Swanzy); oil on paper (eg. Basil Rakoczi, Alice Maher); bronze sculpture bust (eg. Melanie le Brocquy); hammered sheet bronze (eg. Patrick McElroy); graphite and oil paint on board (eg. Anne Madden); oil and wax on board (John Kindness); mixed media on paper (eg. Michael Mulcahy); mixed media on board (eg. Liam Belton); acrylic on canvas (eg. Michael Ashur); pen and ink on paper (eg. Gerard Dillon); tempera on linen (eg. Aengus Buckley); stained glass (eg. Maud Cotter); brass and slate (eg. Tom Fitzgerald); etching (eg. Patrick Hickey); dry-point (eg. David Lilburn); watercolour on paper (eg. Felim Egan, Jack P Hanlon, Tom Carr); woodblock (eg. Michael Kane); screen print etching (eg. Tim Mara); whalebone, glass, porcelain and stone sculpture (eg. Danny Osborne); sumi ink and wash (eg. Fionnuala Ni Chiosain); photograph (eg. Rod Tuach, Dorothy Cross); pencil and ink on tracing paper (eg. Robert Ballagh), ceramics and many others.

More Details

For more information about the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland, phone: 061-333-644.

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For details, see: Best Art Museums.

• For details of other Muster fine art exhibitions and collections, see: Irish Art Galleries and Museums.
• For details of the world's best museums, see: Homepage.
• For more about self-portraiture in Ireland, see: Irish Art Guide.

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