Dumb it down
What's all this about Ireland's favourite painting?
There's a lot of talk today about Ireland's favourite painting, but what is it and when was all this decided?
So what’s the crack with Ireland’s favourite painting? I didn’t see any posters on lampposts?
Well of course you didn’t. The ‘Ireland’s Favourite Painting’ campaign wasn’t set up by the Government to give us something to do – although it may have made you forget about the Fiscal Treaty for a while.
No, Ireland’s favourite painting was a television programme set up by RTÉ, Mike Murphy and Yellow Asylum Films to find out what the nation thought was the best painting currently on show in the country. Simples. You can find out more about it here.
I see, but how come I didn’t hear about it?
Well you obviously weren’t paying much attention to RTÉ then. For five weeks (the five just gone) the campaign was featured across RTÉ Television, radio and online. So you should have heard/seen something on it by now. Voting lines closed last Friday, May 18 and the winner was only announced today.
And the winner was…
It was a painting by Co. Clare man, Frederic William Burton. His winning painting, ‘Hellelil and Hildebrand’, won with 22 per cent of the vote. Now, we’re not art critics, but it’s basically some bird in a blue dress going up a spiral staircase as some bloke tries to kiss her arm all clandestine like.
Strangely enough, the painting can only be viewed for three hours every day. This is because it’s quite sensitive to light and the lads in the National Gallery want to preserve it for as long as they can.
So who missed out then?
Caravaggio’s ‘The Taking of Christ’ came close in second place with 16 per cent of the vote, and joint-third were William Leech’s ‘A Convent Garden’ (13 per cent) and Harry Clarke’s ‘The Eve of St Agnes’ (12.7 per cent).
How big of a deal was it?
Well it was a fairly big deal for the past five weeks. The President, Michael D Higgins, announced who won last night on RTE’s ‘The Works’. The winning painting itself was even championed by Sharon Corr during RTE’s search to find the country’s favourite piece.
There’s been lots of talk on Twitter about the painting too and in fairness, it’s not bad to look at – for a painting.
So will the result have some sort of substantial effect on my life?
Eh… not really. But hey, we now know what Ireland’s favourite painting is if it ever comes up in a pub quiz - even though you’ll have probably checked your phone by that stage.
Yeah, not bad...