DescriptionIn 1907 Hugh Lane lent the main part of his collection of paintings to the Municipal Art Gallery of Dunlin, which was temporarily houses in Harcourt House. In 1912 negotiations began with the Dublin Corporation in an attempt to get successive schemes by Lutyens accepted, first a gallery in St. Stephen’s Green and then in 1913, the bridge gallery over the River Liffey. However, in spite of entreaties from various supporters, including W.B. Yeats, no scheme was accepted. Lane removed his paintings, and lent them to the National Gallery, London, although he afterwards added an unwitnessed codicil to his will, leaving them to Dublin. (Amery et al., 1981, cat no.181)
Of the many unbuilt Liffey bridges, perhaps the most tantalizing is Sir Edwin Lutyens’ design of 1913 for a gallery to house the picture collection of Sir Hugh Lane, ‘poised as it were between air and water’. On the site of the Halfpenny Bridge, it was loosely based on Palladio’s colonnaded design for the Rialto in Venice: a triple-arched bridge surmounted by a colonnade linking pavilion-like galleries at each end. More frustrating than tantalising is the ﬂuctuating nomenclature of the Liffey Bridges, an irksome catalogue of old and new political allegiances. (Casey, 2005, pp.692)
BibliographyAmery, C., Richardson, M. and Stamp, G., (1981) Lutyens, the Work of the English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944): Hayward Gallery London, 18 November 1981 – 31 January 1982. London: Arts Council of Great Britain.
Casey, C. (2005) Dublin. The Buildings of Ireland. New Haven: Yale University Press.
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ClientCity Corporation of Dublin