Visual Arts in Louth
Cultural History, Celtic High Cross Sculpture, Celebrated Painters and Art Venues.

County Louth, Leinster Province,
Republic of Ireland.

Visual Arts in County Louth

Lying on the east coast of Ireland north of Dublin in the province of Leinster, County Louth (Contae Lú) is the smallest County in Ireland - hence its name Lú, which means "least". Louth has a population of 101,821, the bulk of which lives in Dundalk or Drogheda. The latter was close to the site of the famous Battle of the Boyne (1690).

For a list of national sites of
noted historical, architectural or
artistic significance, see:
Architectural Monuments Ireland and
Archeological Monuments Ireland.

Note: For a brief guide to Celtic culture
including the early metalworks of the
Celts, see: Celtic Art. For information
about the two earliest styles, which
influenced so many Irish craftsmen
during the golden age of the early Christian era in Ireland, see: Hallstatt
(800-450) and La Tene (450-50 BCE)

Early Visual Arts

County Louth is home to several outstanding examples of medieval Irish art, in the form of Celtic High Cross sculpture at Dromiskin, Monasterboice, Termonfeckin. These crosses, carved in Ireland during the medieval era, constitute an important contribution to European sculpture. Typically illustrated by scenes from both the Old and New Testaments of the bible, these sculptures were engraved with complicated geometric patterns and other Celtic-style decoration. Monasterboice is most visually attractive with a round tower, two thirteenth century churches as well as the famous 20-foot high "Cross of Muiredach". This tenth century High Cross has numerous scriptural illustrations. The west face features the New Testament, the east side contains Old Testament scenes from Cain and Abel to the Last Judgement. A fabulous piece of medieval public sculpture.


Famous Artists

Celebrated Irish artists born in or associated with County Louth, include: Nano Reid, (Landscape, Figure & Portrait Art); Nathaniel Hill, (Breton genre painting and Portraits); Frances Kelly, (Figure Painting and Murals); Padraig Lynch, (Landscape and Still Life Artist); Eric Patton, (Landscape, Architectural and Topographical Artist).

Art Venues

Art galleries in County Louth include: Artistic Licence, Carlingford (042-9373745); Basement Gallery, Dundalk (042-93964376); Boann Art, Drogheda (041-9872766); Carlinn Gallery, Carlingford (042-9383688); Droichead Arts Centre, Drogheda (041-9875140); Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda (041-9803311); Tristanns Gallery, Dundalk (042-9327466). Art studios in County Louth include: Bridge Street Studios, Dundalk (042-935171).

Of these, Droichead Arts Centre is an important centre of arts and culture in the town of Drogheda and the southern region of County Louth and East-Meath. This art venue maintains a number of arts spaces available for use by the general public. In addition, it organizes a program of visual arts events and activities at the centre and in the community, which combines local as well as touring exhibits to stimulate and enhance the cultural life of Drogheda and its surroundings. is the arts website for the County Louth Arts Office. It aims to promote cultural activity throughout the county, including Irish painting, Irish sculpture, installation art, as well as performing arts like drama and music. It you are involved in initiating or staging art shows or community arts activities in the county, use this site.

• For more about Irish culture, see: Ireland Visual Arts.
• For more about the historical heritage of the province of Leinster, see: Homepage.
• For a list of the top living painters in Ireland, see: Best Irish Artists/Painters.
• For details of art venues in the 32 counties, see: Irish Art Galleries.

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