Events – Observations-Paintings
Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs,1864
Watercolour and gouche, 95.5 x 60.8cm
By Frederic William Burton
Frederic William Burton was born in Clifden House in Corofin, Co. Clare. Burton’s father Samuel was an amateur painter who encouraged his son. Burton later moved to London where he pursued a career as a watercolour painter. His other famous works include: The Blind Girl at the Holy Well (1840); The Aran Fisherman’s Drowned Child (1841) and Faust’s First Sight of Marguerite (1857). He was appointed Director of the National Gallery in London in 1874.
Like many visitors to National Gallery in Dublin I love this painting! The subject of this painting is taken from a medieval Danish ballad . The vibrant watercolour painting depicts Hellelil and Hildebrand’s final meeting on the stone stairway of a tower. The princess’s father regarded the young soldier, Hildebrand as an unsuitable match for his daughter and ordered his sons to kill him. The body language of the lovers depicts their anticipation of the pending tragic events. Due to the sensitivity of the image to light the painting is only on view for an hour twice a week, details below:
The painting can be viewed on Mondays and Wednesdays:
11.30am to 12.30pm, excluding bank holidays