Welcome to the Ireland's Favourite Painting website. We hope you'll find the site useful in helping you to get to know the paintings on the shortlist and decide your favourite. We also look forward to reading and responding to your comments, here, and by post, over the 5 weeks of the campaign.
Over the last few months, RTÉ, Mike Murphy and Yellow Asylum Films have travelled the length and breadth of Ireland, visiting public galleries and public collections to get to know the many beautiful and important artworks that are on view, or held by these collections for the benefit of the people of Ireland. The team talked to curators and other experts and asked them to nominate their favourite paintings. They also asked the Irish public, through Today with Pat Kenny on RTÉ Radio 1 and rte.ie, to nominate their favourite painting(s) in any public collection of art in the country. From that, a long-list of 100 paintings was compiled. See the long list here.
In early February, a group of respected art professionals - Gemma Tipton, Peter Cherry, Oliver Dowling and Robert O'Byrne - chaired by Mike Murphy gathered to reduce this inspiring long-list to a shortlist of ten. They were joined in this by Ireland's First Lady, Sabina Higgins.
The idea was to select ten paintings on behalf of - and for - the Irish public, paintings that could be put before RTÉ's viewers and listeners to let them decide which one might earn the title of Ireland's Favourite Painting. The intention of the campaign is to increase awareness of the immense riches in our public art collections and to encourage people to visit these collections and see the works for themselves.
Over the 5 weeks of the campaign, across RTÉ Television, Radio and Online, there will be numerous opportunities for people to engage with our ten shortlisted paintings. We also very much hope that galleries and local groups across the country will organise Ireland's Favourite Painting- themed discussions and gallery tours throughout the campaign. And we hope, too, that you'll send us your comments. We are open to receiving alternative shortlists from people, and to hearing what you think should have made it to the Top 10 and why. We will endeavour to publish as many of these suggestions as possible, so please do send them to us via the "comments" section.
An introductory documentary, Masterpiece: Ireland's Favourite Painting, presented by Mike Murphy, gives viewers an introduction to each of the ten works - and artists - on the short-list. Watch the documentary here.
Each week on RTÉ's One's The Works (Thursdays, 11.10pm, RTÉ One), well-known faces will champion and make a case for their own personal favourite. These will be put onto the website as they go out. Shorter versions of these will also be broadcast right across RTE's schedules in the final 10 days of the campaign - and they will also be available to view on this site as they go out.
RTÉ Radio 1's Today with Pat Kenny (Weekdays, 10am - 12pm) is the official radio partner of Masterpiece: Ireland's Favourite Painting. Tune every Thursday as Pat and his team discuss and debate the merits of the various short listed paintings for the duration of the campaign.
Also looking at Masterpiece: Ireland's Favourite Painting for RTÉ Radio 1 will be Sunday Miscellany (Sundays, 9am). The programme will feature readings on the art of paintings. Elsewhere, on Arena with Sean Rocks (RTÉ Radio 1, weekdays, 7.30pm), Brian Fay will advise the public on how to read the paintings in the shortlist.
And finally, watch out for our national billboard campaign, coming to a train or bus station near you on 30th April!
The campaign is being run in association with the An Post Business Response Unit who are providing a FREEPOST service for postal entries. As well as being able to vote online, the public can simply write the name of their chosen painting on a postcard and send it to: Ireland's Favourite Painting, RTÉ, Freepost, Dublin 4 by the closing date for postal entries, Friday 18th May.
We hope you enjoy getting to know these paintings - and others - over the next five weeks. We hope you'll get to see some of the paintings in person, and if you can't make it to the galleries on the shortlist, you will find works by the shortlisted artists on display in galleries and public spaces all over the country, so please do go and visit one near you.
Above all, please enjoy, and get involved, in this national event. We look forward to hearing from you all and to finding out which of the ten you think deserves the title Ireland's Favourite Painting!