Picture this: pope’s niece displays her artwork in Dublin

Exhibition is on show in Doorway Gallery, although ‘Uncle Francis’ unlikely to attend

Cristina Bergoglio  with two of  her paintings of Dublin. Gallery owner Denise Donnelly says it is  purely coincidence that her exhibition is on during the papal visit

Cristina Bergoglio with two of her paintings of Dublin. Gallery owner Denise Donnelly says it is purely coincidence that her exhibition is on during the papal visit

 

An art exhibition featuring the work of Pope Francis’s niece is currently on show in a Dublin gallery.

Cristina Bergoglio’s exhibition Urban Sensations is running at the Doorway Gallery on Fredrick Street South until August 30th.

The exhibition features 24 pieces inspired by cities, four of which depict Dublin.

Born in Cordoba, Argentina, Ms Bergoglio (50) now lives in Madrid. She travelled to Dublin last week for the opening of the exhibition.

She said she has only ever met her uncle, Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, on one occasion and gifted him with a painting of the city of Assisi in Italy.

“I imagine he is very excited about his visit to Ireland,” Ms Bergoglio told The Irish Times.

“They love him very much here. I do not see him anymore, not because I don’t want to, but because I respect his job as a spiritual messenger very much and because I am also very busy with my work.”

‘Benevolence’

Ms Bergoglio said it is “life in its benevolence” that has made them coincide in the same city “doing what we both love”.

Ms Bergoglio travelled home to Madrid last week and will miss the papal visit next Saturday.

“I really enjoyed visiting this magical city,” she said. “It’s my second visit to Dublin. I have loved the kindness and respect of your people. I especially enjoyed the National Gallery and Trinity College in addition to the Guinness factory.

“Although I must confess I drank a non-alcoholic beer as I do not drink.”

Coincidental

Denise Donnelly, owner of the Doorway Gallery, said the timing of the exhibition during the pope’s visit to Ireland was purely coincidental.

“I saw her work in a London gallery last year and I just loved it. It was only afterwards I found out who she was. She then came to Dublin for a day and did some sketches of the city,” Ms Donnelly said.

“In terms of timing, this was the only free slot we had. It was perfect timing in one way but totally by chance.”

Ms Donnelly said the pieces have been selling well, with prices ranging between €2,100 and €9,500.

“It is really an honour to host the exhibition,” she added. “She’s full of energy and you can tell she just loves what she does.”