Writings about art by David Thistlethwaite Continued

Sir Hugh Lane (1875-1915) was a noted dealer and collector of art, one of the first British collectors of Impressionist paintings, founder of the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in Dublin (now the Hugh Lane Gallery), and Director of the National Gallery of Art in Dublin from 1914 until perishing in the passenger liner Lusitania that was torpedoed by the Germans in 1915. A contested codicil to his will ensured that his collection of modern pictures, including the well-known ‘Umbrellas’ of Renoir, were divided between Dublin and London.

In 2000 a new biography was published by the Irish writer Robert O’Byrne, and on the occasion of its launch I was invited to give a lecture, in front of Mancini’s portrait of Lane, in the Hugh Lane Gallery of Modern Art in Dublin. As a family member (great nephew) who had read all the Lane papers now lodged in the National Library of Ireland and who had spent many years considering the legacy of his life and ideas, I attempted to bring into the present the pressing issues of beauty, taste and faith that he bequeathed.

Photo of Lane, author’s collection Download PDF