'Filled with the treasures of numerous ancient civilisations [...] stunning in beauty due to its miniatures and paintings.' It is in these enthusiastic terms that the Director of the National Library of Ireland describes Chester Beatty's collection, considered one of the most beautiful in the world in terms of Islamic and Oriental art.
The exhibition rooms are immersed in a comfortable dimness that allows you to focus on the works, which are enhanced by well-judged lighting. The rare objects compose a veritable imaginarium: a series of prints tells you the story of a Japanese legend, pitting samurai against demons; an early premium microscope, which at first seems incongruous, reveals the smallest ideograms drawn by a human hand; an antique collection of Asian etchings makes modern perfume bottles pale in comparison.
The diversity of stories and their modes of expression are such that, on leaving, you will feel the pleasant impression of having been under the influence of the fantastic phenomena of a magic lantern!
Chester Beatty Library
+353 (0)1 407 0750