Drogheda Municipal Art Collection


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View of Drogheda from Ball's Grove

Gabriele Ricciardelli

fl. 1743 - 1782
1753 Oil on canvas

View of Drogheda from Ball's Grove is an accurate and detailed depiction of the townscape c. 1753, with rows of red-brick, Dutch-style gabled houses built one behind another overlooking the River Boyne, and the Alderman Patten's formal garden to the left. In the foreground sits a prosperous family, picnicking on the sunny bank. The dress style of the two women, who wear voluminous gowns, reflects the contemporary fashions of the wealthy in Drogheda. He chose to paint the town in the distance, albeit with distinct clarity, and framed by the feathery treatment of the leaves of the mature trees. On the right is the ruined tower of the Carmelite Friary, still bearing the scars of the assault by Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army during the siege of September 1649. Magnificent against the water is the newly built, elegant, three-arched bridge (erected 1722) that connected both sides of the town. The painting leads the viewer out to sea, with the boats sailing up the harbour calling attention to Drogheda's thriving port industry. Ricciardelli's works record much of the extent of the walled town, with the West Gate evident and the barbican of St Laurence's Gate, the circuit of the town defence, which, almost complete, stood at an average height of 6.7m.

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