An exhibition of work by artist Alison, Countess of Rosse

Got nag Capall, Ireland

'Ireland to Sussex' an exhibition of landscapes and interiors by Alison, the 7th Countess of Rosse, opens on Saturday 17 September.

Richly coloured interiors painted in earthy tones and organic landscapes illustrating the interplay of light and texture will be on display in the newly extended gallery until Sunday 13 November. 

Birr Castle in County Offaly, Ireland
Birr Castle, Ireland


Based at Birr Castle in County Offaly, Ireland, Lady Rosse has lived in many different countries, travelling extensively with her husband who worked for the UN. She spent time living in Iran, painting landscapes of the desert in oils and increasing her skills by working as a draftsman on archaeological sites. She received no formal training but has worked alongside other artists, with Derek Hill her especial mentor.

The Library at Russborough
The Library at Russborough


When the family returned to Birr Castle in Ireland she began working in watercolour and held exhibitions of her travels. She also painted interiors, including a series of Irish libraries, and held an exhibition of these paintings in the National Library, opened by the President at the time, Mary Robinson. She has now reverted to working in oil which was always her favourite medium. She continues to enjoy painting interiors and has painted in many of Ireland's Georgian houses, including of course her home Birr Castle.

Birch trees on the bog near Birr
Birch trees on the bog near Birr

Sources of inspiration

Her landscapes are often on a small scale and painted on board so that she can work outside or from a car. She has always been attracted to ruins and the remains of the past. The moorland landscape around her home in Birr and the Slieve Bloom mountains, are continual sources of inspiration. She also travels regularly to the West of Ireland and stays and paints on the islands off the coast.

Some of her larger works have been commissioned for hospitals and public buildings.

Summer landscape by Alison Rosse
Irish landscapes by Alison Rosse

Nymans connections

Lady Rosse is Anne Rosse's daughter-in-law and a partnership between both Nymans and Birr Castle has existed since Anne Messel (whose family home was Nymans) married Michael Parsons, 6th Earl of Rosse, in 1935.

'Ireland to Sussex' Saturday 17 September - Sunday 13 November 2016 open daily 11am - 4pm (3.30pm from 1 November).