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Beranger's Views of Ireland
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“No one of his time could draw an old castle, a cromlech, or a round tower better” wrote Sir William Wilde of the antiquarian artist Gabriel Beranger. In 1880, Lady Wilde wrote one of her husband’s “earnest wish…that Beranger’s sketches, so rich in suggestion for our living artists, and so important to the antiquary and archaeologist, should be published in a volume.” More than a century later, the Royal Irish Academy took a vital step in fulfilling that wish, publishing a selection of 47 of Beranger’s watercolour sketches of famous Irish historical sites such as Bective Abbey, Glendalough, Blarney Castle and Mount Venus Dolmen. Accompanied by Peter Harbison’s informative text, these delightful colour reproductions open up again for us vistas of Ireland which have been hidden from view since the eighteenth century.
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