Ballyfin houses an outstanding collection of paintings which traces the development of Irish art from the mid-seventeenth century to today.
Works by many of the leading figures of Irish Art, as well as paintings and drawings of Irish subject matter by continental and American artists provide for a fascinating exploration of Ireland’s art, history, topography and social life, reflecting both the splendour of the Great House and also the humble life of the cottage.
The family portraits showing generations of the Cootes were reinstalled, having left the house some ninety years ago and make for a sensational display on the grand staircase. The works on show in the reception rooms and bedrooms give an account of Irish painting focusing on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Downstairs meanwhile, the bar and treatment rooms are filled with more modern works ranging from twentieth-century Irish masters such as Mainie Jellett and Louis le Brocquy, to young artists at the beginning of their careers including Michael Canning and Blaise Drummond; throughout the house the creative spirit of Ireland is made dazzlingly evident.