From Galway to Leenane

In August 1838, English artist William Evans of Eton (1798-1877) painted many vivid watercolours of the West of Ireland. The collection of forty-one sheets of drawings by Evans was acquired by the National Gallery of Ireland in 2008 but this is the first time they have been exhibited as a group.

They give a rare picture of this isolated though well-populated area before the devastation of the Famine. The rugged terrain and the lack of roads suitable for vehicles meant that Connemara was relatively unexplored by artists, although in the early 1820s George Petrie made sketches here while working for the Ordnance Survey.

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