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WORK OF THE WEEK | 9 September 2019

CAG.299 John Butts, View of Cork from Audley Place, c.1750, oil on canvas, 72.5 x 120 cm. Presented, 2005.

We’ve chosen one of the most iconic paintings in the collection for this WORK OF THE WEEK!

View of Cork from Audley Place (c.1750) by John Butts requires very little introduction. Offering a panoramic view of our city in the middle of the eighteenth century, this oil painting acts like a time capsule of Cork’s historic past.

St Anne’s Shandon, Skiddy’s Almshouse, and Blarney Street can be spotted at centre right, while our own building – the old Custom House – is close to the picture’s heart. At centre left of the painting, St Patrick's Street is still a waterway!

The two figures in the foreground (with their trusty dog!) act as our guides and are known as ‘staffage’, lending scale and interest to the scene. Fans of The Young Offenders (2016) will also recognise this vantage point, Bell’s Field, as the one favoured by Conor and Jock as they began their big screen adventure!

The city they look down upon has been made prosperous by its harbour and connection to the world, particularly with the Netherlands (as is evident from the tall, narrow ‘Dutch Billy’ style buildings). Ships’ masts along the river’s quays suggest Cork’s rich trading links and remind us of the city’s Latin motto, Statio Bene Fide Carinis – an idea borrowed by this week’s Sounds from a Safe Harbour festival!

View of Cork from Audley Place (c.1750) by John Butts is displayed in our historic Penrose Rooms (Floor 1).

Tune in to The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103 Cork every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with assistant curator Michael Waldron about a work from the collection! Listen back to this week's chat here:

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