Art is All of Us

Events – Observations-Paintings

National Gallery of Ireland – Meeting on the Turret Stairs

Meeting on the Turret Stairs

Meeting on the Turret Stairs Frederick William Burton, 1864

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

Meeting on the Turret Stairs on view at NGI


One comment on “National Gallery of Ireland – Meeting on the Turret Stairs

  1. Paul Mulvaney
    May 5, 2016

    This piece has incredible depth. There’s such a sense of impending movement. The longer I look at it the more I expect them to continue moving up and down the staircase.


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This entry was posted on April 12, 2016 by in Interesting things to do in Dublin and tagged , .
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Mary de Blacam - Artist
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