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Title: Dublin, 1964 (Bridge in Rain)
Date: 1964
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Dimensions:
16 x 24 cm
Signed: on verso, lower left: Ruth Hartmann (the Artist's wife)
Credit Line: Purchased, 2018
Object Number: NGI.2018.113
DescriptionErich Hartmann visited Dublin for the first time in 1964. He had already explored the city extensively in his imagination, ever since he first read James Joyce’s Ulysses. But now he came in reality, and he brought his cameras. Eager to understand the strange mix that spawned great artistry but repelled the artist, he wandered the city searching out every place and incident of Joyce’s fictional June day sixty years before. This search resulted in more than an evocation of a novel. It is a record of Erich Hartmann’s own journey of discovery through Dublin, captured in over 3,000 images.
This photograph is taken from the window of a bus that is passing over what is likely O’Connell Bridge facing Bachelor’s Walk on the right and Aston Quay on the left. The window is speckled with drops of rain and through it we see a number of people shuffling past one another with hats, headscarves and umbrellas as they try to escape the rain. The raindrops on the window not only make us aware of the surface through which we are looking, but creates another layer to the image in addition to reflections in the puddles on the bridge and the river running from foreground to background. One can just about make out the corner of the window on the bus in the lower left foreground of the photograph. Erich Hartmann was known for capturing street scenes from unusual viewpoints and the upper level bus window is one such example of this. Interestingly, during the 1960s the lamp posts dotted along O’Connell Bridge had a single lamp. Those who walk across O’Connell Bridge today will notice that each lamp post bares three lamps.
ProvenanceErich and Ruth Hartmann, 1964-2007; Clair by Kahn Gallery, 2007; purchased, Clair by Kahn Gallery, Zurich, 2018
Inscriptionon verso (wet stamp): Magnum Photo, New York
on verso: Copyright Erich Hartmann
on verso (in pencil, print code): 64-30 57/32A-33