Francis Bacon in his early twenties photo by Francis Julian Gutmann, Courtesy MB Art Collection

A new biography sheds new light on the enigma that is Francis Bacon

Painting Dublin: detail from Winetavern Street, 1934, by Harry Kernoff; The Fishmarket, Patrick Street, 1893 by Walter Frederick Osborne; The Leinster Market, c.1915, by  Estella Frances Solomons,

Before now, emphasis was placed on rural landscape and western seaboard in Irish art. This book takes a very different approach

Reimagine Tallaght, Melt the Walls. Photograph: Ste Murray

Reimagine is a new architecture project that wants you to shape the future

Kieran and Geralyn White pictured at their house at Ballysallagh, Johnswell, Co Kilkenny. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan.

From dry rot to ultra high net worth lunch guests, the struggle to make a historic house pay

Model of a pedestrianised entrance to Phoenix Park by Denis Byrne Architects.

Contributors look at the history of Dublin to imagine an even better future

Cliff at Home Gift Box

Whether for sleepovers or special and surprising gifts, Ireland’s hotels have you covered

Colm O'Gorman with his greyhounds Jake and Oscar, Amy Huberman with her dog Phoebe and Gemma Tipton with her horse Bosco

Familiar faces on their ‘calming’ alpacas, Basset Hound bosses and magnificent horses

When the Chicago World Fair opened in 1893, there was not one, but two rival model Irish villages.

Post-Famine identity and the diaspora are the focus of a book rich in anecdote and detail

Ed Hammond of Slated at work

The couple behind Slated explain how their work led them to find a new relative

Jane Willoughby and her dog Oscar pictured at the entrance to the garden at her home Donaguile House in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny. Photograph: Laura Hutton/The Irish Times

A walled garden was part of Jane Willoughby’s dream home. Then she saw this one

Find the entrance to Glanmore Hall just after Heaney’s cottage and drive past paddocks and up a rise.

Actor Julia Roberts briefly rented Glanmore Hall near Ashford while filming in Ireland

Ken Madden and Beth-Ann Smith of Lismore Food Company in the kitchen with their book of hand-written recipes. Picture: Patrick Browne

How Beth-Ann Smith and Ken Madden make tasty magic from their Lismore home

Outdoor performance is the future of safe live arts for the foreseeable future. The artists pictured here are from TeaTime Company. Photograph: Tom Van Mele

Imagine a cello recital in a handball alley or a play at a local GAA pitch

Graphic Studio Dublin will hold an exhibition on December 12th to celebrate its 60th year.

To mark the studio’s 60th, Louise Leonard explains how to make print magic

A Liffey trip with City Kayaking, Dublin

From family hotel breaks to grown-up treats, outdoor activities to socially distanced culture

San Juan Tiny House in Colorado by Rocky Mountain Tiny Homes

From Tiny House Nation to a book on Living Little small living spaces are having a moment

Festival in a Van per forms for the small audience in an outdoor setting. Photograph: Michael O’Rourke

Here's an Irish solution to the coronavirus-shuts-down-the-arts problem

Home of artist Not Vital in Ardez, Switzerland Photograph: Simon Watson

Irish photographer Simon Watson’s new book lingers on some truly astonishing interiors, and lives

John Gerrard’s Mirror Pavilion

John Gerrard’s spectacular new work in Galway reflects worlds we cannot usually see

Dunmoe House, home of former Irish Times Property Editor, Jack Fagan, at 340sq m (3,650sq ft) and on 9.3 hectares (23 acres), for sale for €995,000 with Knight Frank

An hour from Dublin this hidden haven will tick a lot of boxes for buyers seeking a country idyll

Dublin Fringe Festival 2020: Duets, by Dan Colley and Fionnuala Gygax

Even amid the pandemic, the festival is about ‘new pathways, inspiration and discovery’

The Bloods: Recce Platoon Soldier - Night Vision, Private Oisin Roche, 2019 (left); Battalion Mascot and Handler, Irish Wolfhound Fionn, Private James Dooley, 2016 (centre); and Soldier, Camogie Player, Private Ciara Nevin, 2019

Defence Forces personnel appear in all their guises in the photographer’s powerful portraits

Ziplining adventures at Zipit, Tibraddan Woods in Dublin

From whale watching to cruising the byways of Ireland in a campervan, the countryside awaits

Stanley Townsend will perform in Rough Magic’s production of Mike McCormack’s award-winning novel Solar Bones. Photograph: Peter Searle

‘Bringing people back together is really important,’ says director Olga Barry

Mount Falcon Estate in Co Mayo.

Fancy some falconry or hiring an entire castle? Irish hotels await your staycation

A new book of works by David Hockney drawn on an iPad a decade ago resonates today

Four-bed Colla Point House in Schull enjoys direct access to the coastline

Monfin House,  Co Wexford.

Ideal family home with five bedrooms set in idyllic countryside

The empty stage at the Abbey Theatre. The national theatre is reaching out to online audiences during the crisis. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

Why would theatremakers want to return to the ‘old normal’ of overwork and underpay?

Roslevin, Mullacash set on two acres in Kildare

Roslevin outside Naas makes an idyllic countryside setting for a growing family

Kitchen/diningroom, The Cottage, Brennanstown Road, Dublin 18.

Cleverly redesigned three-bedroom property full of light and modern comforts

Sonic arrangements in the infinite fill, by Candida Powell-Williams, a Void Offsites project for Void Gallery, 2020. Image courtesy of Tansy Cowley and Void Gallery

Derry’s Walker Plinth points enlightened way ahead after kicking over the statues

Gemma Tipton and Jess Curnow with her children Cece (4) and Alphie (5) at the kitchen door at Head View, Lismore, Co Waterford. Photograph: Patrick Browne

With work cancelled, Gemma Tipton found herself helping out with a cottage and stables renovation

Green Party deputy leader  Catherine Martin was appointed as Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Arts shuffles back into department title as culture sector faces existential threat

Double Portrait, 1985-86, by Lucien Freud. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh/IMMA

Feast your eyes on the classic works, or check out some completely new visual art

Ballynahinch

We all need a break from our enforced break, so pick one of these destinations

roof2

Inner city refurb makes strong argument for changing city centre planning guidelines

Eileen and Una Sealy and their studio shed

Lockdown has unlocked possibilities for turning the garden shed into a useful retreat

 Sean Scully pieces at the Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane: the gallery has seen increases of up to 300 per cent across its various social media channels during the crisis. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

Galleries and museums set to open alongside hairdressers in Government’s plans

Hugo Byrne - ‘With a knife, it has to work before you decide how it’s going to look’. Photograph: Doreen Kilfeather

Hugo Byrne became disillusioned after a stint in art school but now has the sharpest blade in the box

The Cavan School House by Craftstudio. Photograph: Richard Hatch

RIAI iniative shows rescuing old buildings is easier than you might think

Electric Picnic reflections: Festival organisers and workers exude positivity. Practical people, their work involves coming together to make things happen. Photograph: Niall Carson /PA

Cancelling a festival is huge. A vast army of people are suddenly out of a job

Man hand with pen writing on notebook on a wooden table. Man working at coffee shop

Tips for budding authors and poets, from beating writer’s block to finding an agent

Martin Gale, Couple, oil on canvas, 2016

Taking up art can bring levels of relaxation that border on therapeutic, so why not?

‘Juggling the demands of a full house with work and study is already testing most households.’ Photograph: Justin Paget/Getty Images

After Covid-19, will Irish housing design change for good?

 Bosco by Gemma Tipton: ‘Spending time trying to get Bosco’s nose down on the page in paint brought me a great sense of peace and perspective.’

It seems many of us have been frustrated artists, potters and poets until now

A Google Street View image of  the British Museum

Many of the world’s great museums are now available on screen, but what exactly do you get for your click?

Detail from Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting by Artemisia Gentileschi

The work of 17th century artist Artemisia Gentileschi is urgent, immediate and compelling

Margaret Molloy

Celebrating the men and women flying flags for Ireland from Auckland to Rockland, Paris to Belgrade

Wayne Jordan in Leaving at the Project Arts Centre as part of Where We Live.

The theatre director’s new show, Leaving, is a powerful departure for the returned emigre

Bloodline by Andrei Molodkin

Molodkin is best known for his deliberately highly provocative blood works

Placeholder by Niamh O’Malley

Including Niamh O’Malley in Dublin, and Elva Mulchrone and Rosa Mäkelä in Galway

Gabriel Kuri, spending static to save gas, 2020, installation view. Featuring detail of chart, 2020, smoke drawing on wall. Courtesy of the artist and the Douglas Hyde Gallery. Photograph: Louis Haugh

Artists tackling the climate catastrophe in their work tread a delicate line

John Doran (Finbar Lowe) and Caitríona Ennis (Emer Hackett) in The Fall of the Second Republic. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

Corn Exchange’s new and final play is a grim look at an alternative 1970s Ireland

Broadcaster Bláthnaid Treacy preparing for the official programme launch of Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture in Eyre Square, Galway. Photograph:  Aengus McMahon

Storms or otherwise, every other Capital of Culture has been beset by problems

Derbhle Crotty and Garry Hynes before rehearsal for The Cherry Orchard, a Druid production

Garry Hynes directs The Cherry Orchard, a play she says that’s still of the moment

‘That other use of the term “going viral”, as a goal for amplifying the spread of ideas, actions or witty cat memes via social media. Photograph: iStock

Super-spreaders are those able to spread ideas and beliefs far faster than normal

Minister for Culture Josepha Madigan launches this year’s Culture Night; the Arts Council is taking on responsibility for the event. Photograph: Tom Honan

As funding for the arts continues to erode, here are the questions to ask on the doorstep

Irish Museum of Modern Art at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham in Dublin. Photograph: George Munday/Design Pics/Perspectives/Getty

We’ve put together a list of no-cost cultural treats to see you through the winter

Robert Redford and Mia Farrow in the 1974 film The Great Gatsby. F Scott Fitzgerald’s quintessential Jazz Age novel, written five years into Prohibition, is drenched in champagne and other illicit alcohol. As was its author. Photograph: AP

Writers have often used drink or drugs to ‘see beyond’ reality. Or was it all an illusion?

Sarah Browne: Report to an Academy (2016),  HD video 28 minutes. Courtesy: the artist

The Elliptical Affinities exhibition at the Highlanes Gallery gives us a peek at what a differently-centred world might look like

From left, Paul Timoney from Batman Needs a Break, with David Green from In The Willows, Tadhg Hickey, of InOne Eye, Out The Other, Dominica Williams mezzo-soprano with How Aria?, programme co-ordinator Edel Doran, Mongoose’s Muireann Ní Cheannabháin and Ailbhe Dunne, who play Therapy Sessions, and  dancer Peter Toohey. Photograph: Conor McCabe Photography

Performance combining opera, poetry and mental health launches with First Fortnight

Anantara Dhigu in the Maldives. “Everywhere you turn is perfect. Coconut trees shade views of the ocean. The coconuts themselves are delicious.”

Sense of fragility and air of unreality pervade life on the island nation in South Asia

Joan Ellison and Caroline Gardner, of We Make Good, at their shop on Fade Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Gorgeous gifts come guilt-free from this Irish initiative that is a model of how to do things right

Our list includes a hatbox of champagne and a coffee subscription. Photograph: Getty

Don't panic - we've got you covered with this list of thoughtful gift ideas for every budget

The Decaste in Culture: The 'quarterisation' of our cities reached a ludicrous peak with derided Grafton Quarter

“Exhibition text... can open doors into ways of thinking about the artwork; it can talk about important historical facts or writings; it can lead you into a parallel way of thinking about something else or can be entirely descriptive of what you see.”

Text plays a tricky role in art – as descriptors or part of the exhibit

Ashford Castle: The original castle dates back to 1228, when it was built as a stronghold for the Anglo Norman de Burgo family.

Tollman family have spent €68m since 2015 restoring historic castle to its former glory

Markets in Vienna: famous for a reason

Travel deals: Plan an escape with these holiday ideas in Ireland and abroad

Endgame: Andrew Bennett, Rosaleen Linehan, Des Keogh and Anthony Morris. Photograph: Ros Kavanagh

The cast of Pan Pan’s upcoming Endgame talk about Samuel Beckett’s enduring relevance

Henri Cartier-Bresson: Ireland. 1952. Dublin. St Stephen’s Green

Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange and Robert Cresswell caught Irish life in the 1950s

Overcooked 2 by Ghost Town Games

Desire to replicate delicacies from Azeroth or Tamriel part of society’s obession with food in abstract

Roland Mouret: Just having his words wash over you is like being swathed in a delicious fabric. Photograph: Zoe Law

The designer talks bees, waste and growing up in Lourdes ahead of project at the RHA

“There are flowers, bright sunlight. It’s a summer’s day”... Detail from itor by Eoin Mc Hugh, 2019, oil on canvas. Photograph: courtesy Kerlin Gallery

Eoin McHugh’s latest exhibition gets us closer to things we can’t see or comprehend

Crotanstown House and Stud, seven bedroom house, with cottage and stabling for forty horses, on eight acres, for sale with Savills for €1.85 million.

All the formal rooms you need for entertaining and a stud farm right next door

A2 Architects at Close Encounter at the Glucksman Cork Cork. Photograph: Jed Niezgoda

Grafton Architects have just won the 2020 Royal Gold Medal, but are ineligible to tender for many major projects at home

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg   protesting against climate change outside the Swedish parliament in November 2018.  In less than a year the now 16-year-old’s  “climate strike” has become a global movement. Photograph:  Hanna Franzen/AFP/Getty Images

Change is possible, and it can come from individual acts

A Science Museum can cross disciplines, make and catalyse connections, thus creating a space for new scientific-magic to happen. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.

A museum would put this country’s contribution to global developments in context

Stone Hall, fully refurbished eight-bedroom Georgian mansion overlooking Glandore Harbour, for sale with Charles McCarthy at a guide of €3.8 million

Stone Hall on Glandore Harbour, once left to decay, has been restored to its former glory

Simon O’Connor, director of the new Museum of Literature Ireland. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

MoLI in Newman House, Dublin opens this month featuring Joyce’s notebooks and more

Works by people in prison in Ireland, from the Open Minds exhibition at Rua Red, Tallaght 2019. Photograph: Eugene Lanagan

Inmates at Midlands prison explain what making art means to them

Culture Night is ‘a social opportunity to get out and enjoy the city, as well as the art, in a festival atmosphere’

What began in Dublin in 2006 is now a national behemoth on a cultural mission

Elaine Hoey, Imaginary_State(s), 2019, live virtual reality performance/installation, 12 mins. Photograph: Elaine Hoey

A new exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art strips back to a primal force

Castlesize House in Sallins is the home of former champion jockey LIam Ward and sits on 37 acres

Trying to prove that art is good for health, well-being, social inclusion, creativity and education is as hard as trying to nail down ‘excellence’, a term beloved of funders and evaluators

Public funding of the arts has become a nebulous and convoluted process

Ruth McGowan, Director, Dublin Fringe Festival

Ruth McGowan wants to transform lives, inspire change, and test her own limits

The Royal Dublin Society. Photograph: Dónal Murphy

Society should go back to its roots, as scattergun use of venue is not helping it fulfill its potential

When Joseph Walsh began working on his new series, using indigenous Irish timber, he ran up against an unexpected problem: Ireland’s smaller sawmills are in decline. Photograph: Andrew Bradley

Master craftsman Joseph Walsh suggests a different and inspiring idea of culture

Kim Gordon: ‘I’m always kind of interested in that relationship between art and design, kind of symbiotic.’ Photograph: David Black

The Sonic Youth co-founder on her new exhibition at IMMA, her relationship with fame, the changing face of feminism and her strang(...)

Anne Enright and Lucy Vigne-Welsh in Top Girls by Caryl Churchill in 1985. Photograph: Alan Byrne

Company reflects on decades of casting spells and pushing the envelope with its productions

Dead Dog in a Suitcase is a musical, theatrical extravaganza of wit, wonder and weirdness. Photograph: Steve Tanner

The best picks from this year’s selection of theatre, street spectacle and quirky surprise

Cork’s Crawford Gallery recently removed fig leaves from statues of Apollo and Adonis. Photograph: Crawford Gallery

A Cork gallery has removed the fig leaves from its statues, showing that small is beautiful

Jersey is like a continental holiday for people who prefer to hear English spoken around them.

Where immigration controls are incredibly strict and the tax laws favour the wealthy, it’s tempting to see it as a microcosm of po(...)

Artist Sam Jinks’s exhibition gets to grips with life (the universe and everything)

The Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London

We must ensure the super rich don’t get a pass because they fling money at the arts

Barry Douglas: ‘My parents paid £1.50 a year for me to have piano lessons, it was heavily subsidised’

A peek at the schedule of one of Ireland’s most renowned pianists: Barry Douglas

The medina, Fès el Bali, is said to be the largest car-free urban area in the world.

The 1,200-year-old Moroccan city has that captivating sense of being at a crossroads: of cultures and of time

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