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Title: Dublin, 1964 (Boats)
Date: 1964
Medium: Silver gelatin print
Dimensions:
15.6 x 23.6 cm
Signed: on verso, lower left: Ruth Hartmann (The Artist's wife)
Credit Line: Purchased, 2018
Object Number: NGI.2018.115
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.
Hartmann photographed both recreational and professional activities during his journey through Dublin in 1964. Fishing was both a leisurely and expert activity that Hartmann documented as seen in Dublin, 1964 (Boats). Five fishing boats are linked together in the foreground of the photograph. A fisherman stands in the third boat. He could be laying nets to catch fish to sell or settling in for a relaxing afternoon. A number of other individual boats are scattered throughout the harbour. Sky and sea make up a large part of the composition creating a light, airy atmosphere and a delicate, reflective surface. From a geographical point of the view the photograph is likely taken at Greystones Harbour. Greystones and its superb inshore fishing provided an opportunity for generations of hard working Dubliners to get out in the air and socialise. Major annual fishing competitions such as the Shakespeare trophy were eagerly awaited by both the participants and locals.
ProvenanceErich and Ruth Hartmann, 1964-2007; Clair by Kahn Gallery, 2007; purchased, Clair by Kahn Gallery, Zurich, 2018