Robert O’Byrne is a writer specialising in the fine and decorative arts, and an Apollo columnist. He blogs at www.theirishaesthete.com

Eyrecourt, Co. Galway (n.d.), John Nankivell.

The drawings that capture Ireland’s crumbling castles

John Nankivell has specialised in recording decaying historic buildings, but his work also provides some reasons for hope

12 Sep 2018

The artists of Georgian Dublin deserve another look

An exhibition celebrating the Society of Artists in Ireland casts light on some lesser-known 18th-century figures

28 Jun 2018
The Reading Room of the National Library of Ireland, Dublin. The library has been allocated €23m by the Irish government to upgrade its facilities.

Ireland is finally splashing out on its heritage – but why now?

The Irish government has announced a grand investment package for the country’s culture sector. But is it too little, too late?

29 May 2018

Nicola Gordon Bowe (1948–2018)

The scholar, teacher and advocate of the applied arts of 20th-century Ireland has died at the age of 69

11 Jan 2018
Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs (1864), Frederic William Burton. National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

The man who made Ireland’s favourite painting

Frederic William Burton’s sentimental watercolour scenes reflect the taste of a bygone era

10 Jan 2018

The Irish art galleries ringing the changes in 2018

Highlights in Dublin and Cork this year include exhibitions on Brian Maguire, Wolfgang Tillmans and Mary Swanzy

4 Jan 2018
Letters from W.B. Yeats to Olivia Shakespear, part of the Yeats Family Collection be auctioned at Sotheby's London on 27 September

The Yeats Collection sale is only the latest sign of Ireland’s broken heritage export system

It’s time for leading cultural figures to work with the state to reform Irish heritage protection

25 Sep 2017
View of the entrance and façade of the National Gallery of Ireland, 2017, Photo: © National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland enters a new era

The National Gallery of Ireland’s six-year-long refurbishment gives its Old Masters and Irish paintings a chance to shine

10 Jun 2017
Vase of Flowers (1924), Henri Matisse. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The fake feud between Picasso and Matisse

Shortly after Matisse’s death, Clive Bell called time on the artist’s rivalry with Picasso – and rightly so

10 Apr 2017

A look back over Rodin’s rollercoaster career

The French sculptor attracted commissions and controversy in equal measure, and his reputation is constantly being reassessed

21 Mar 2017
The Finnish art historian Tancred Borenius (1885–1948), photographed in his office in 1940. Photo: William Vandivert/Getty Images

‘He helped set the standard for Apollo’

Tancred Borenius (1885–1948), one of Apollo’s earliest contributors, is remembered for his significant contribution to art history and criticism

27 Feb 2017
Single-volume Qur’an (1340–41), copied by Arghun al-Kamili, possibly Iraq, Jalayirid period. Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, Istanbul

A look back at the beautifully inventive art of the Mamluks

The artistic achievements of the Mamluks rival those of the Renaissance, argued Mahonri Sharp Young in a 1981 issue of Apollo

24 Feb 2017

The flower painter who was fed up with his masterpieces

Henri Fantin-Latour’s finest works are the flower paintings that he made in bulk – but he didn’t think so

14 Jan 2017
National Gallery of Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland is finally to reopen

It’s been a long wait indeed, but the gallery’s refurbishment is nearing completion, and there’s a good line-up of temporary exhibitions, too

3 Jan 2017

Irishness is not the most interesting thing about Irish art

This new book on Irish art in the early modern period includes excellent texts by non-national authors that finally place Irish artists in a European context

22 Nov 2016

Remembering Anne Crookshank (1927–2016)

Irish art history owes a huge debt to the pioneering contribution of Anne Crookshank

24 Oct 2016

Save our museums!

Public collections need eloquent and passionate defenders if they are to thrive in today’s tough climate

23 Aug 2016

Irish ire over heritage ‘downgrade’

The term’s been dropped from the title of the government department in charge of culture

1 Jun 2016

Loss of Westport House signals wider problems for Ireland’s heritage

Historic property goes on sale after long battle for the Browne family

18 Feb 2016

Selling the collection to save the house: Russborough and Irish heritage

Ireland should be more concerned over the dispersal of its cultural heritage

18 May 2015

Shambles to success: Limerick’s year as debut Irish City of Culture

Mike Fitzpatrick salvaged the programme after its disastrous start, but what’s next for the city?

13 Jan 2015

12 Days: Highlights of 2015

Ireland’s outstanding 18th-century decorative arts have been long overlooked, but a new exhibition in Chicago looks set to change that

2 Jan 2015

Bantry House sale postponed

It was once nicknamed ‘The Wallace Collection of Ireland’: are efforts being made to save what remains of Bantry’s historic collection?

24 Sep 2014