J.M.W. Turner’s The Dawn of Christianity (The Flight into Egypt) (1841) is one of the most popular pieces in National Museums NI painting collection. Depicting Mary, Joseph and the infant Christ fleeing into Egypt to escape King Herod it is just one of the many striking, and historically significant, works that can be found in our collection.
Irish painting from the 17th century to the present
The Ulster Museum’s art collection has some of the finest Irish art found anywhere in the world. It includes scenes by Jack Butler Yeats, William Conor’s depictions of working class life in Belfast, and the vibrant and precise canvases of John Luke. Sir John Lavery’s grand, yet intimate, paintings were a significant gift to collection by the artist in 1929.
Works by contemporary artists continue to be collected such as. Rita Duffy and Willie Doherty.
British painting from the 17th century to the present.
The Ulster Museum is home to notable examples of paintings by the British masters. We hold portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds, Thomas Gainsborough, and Sir Thomas Lawrence. Turner’s magnificent The Dawn of Christianity, donated to the museum in 1913, is a major highlight of this era.
International painting from the 20th century to the present.
British and international post-war art is at the core of Ulster Museum’s painting collection. We hold works by celebrated artists such as Francis Bacon, Ben Nicholson, and a piece by Morris Louis, an early champion of Colour Field painting.
Dutch, Flemish, and Italian painting from the 17th to the 19th century
Ulster Museum’s collection of Dutch, Flemish, and Italian painting demonstrates the significant influence that these traditions have had on British and Irish art. The highlights of the collection include two panel works by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, and Jacob Jordaens’ St Christopher Carrying the Christ Child.