A Picturesque and Descriptive View of the City of Dublin

A Picturesque and Descriptive View of the City of Dublin is a set of 25 architectural prints of well-known buildings and views in Dublin, Ireland illustrated by the engraver, watercolourist, and draughtsman James Malton at the end of the 18th century. At the time of drawing in 1791, many of the buildings had been newly constructed and marked a high point of architecture, wealth, and political prominence of the city of Dublin. Malton's prints are arguably, the most important series of drawings of Dublin to the present day and almost all of the buildings illustrated still stand and maintain their position at the centre of Irish social, cultural, educational, political, commercial, and legal life.[1]

The drawings have been copied and reproduced hundreds of times and have become synonymous with the development and progression of the city.[2]

Order Illustration by James Malton Title of print Status Date of construction Notes
1 MaltonCH.jpg Royal Exchange, Dublin Intact 1779 Now usually referred to as City Hall.
2 Customs House Dublin 1792.jpg Custom House, Dublin Partially Rebuilt 1791 Partially collapsed following a fire during the Easter Rising but was later partially reconstructed in Irish limestone rather than the original imported English Portland stone. The chimneys of the original design were not reinstated.
3 Charlemont-House, Dublin LCCN2003671649.tif Charlemont House, Dublin Intact 1763 Now houses the Hugh Lane Gallery.
4 James Malton Trinity College Library Dublin.jpg College Library, Dublin Intact 1732
5 Provost's house, Dublin LCCN2003671651.jpg Provost's House, Dublin Intact 1759 Still functions as the residence of the Provost of the college.
6 Trinity College, Dublin front.jpg Trinity College Dublin Intact 1759
7 Powerscourt house, Dublin.jpg Powerscourt House, Dublin Intact 1774 The building now houses an upmarket shopping centre.
8 Leinster House, Dublin LCCN2003671650.tif Leinster House, Dublin Intact 1748 Now houses the Irish houses of Parliament, more commonly referred to as Dáil Éireann.
9 Dublin Castle 1792.jpg Great Court Yard, Dublin Castle Intact 1720 The tower of St. Werburgh's Church can be seen in the background however this was later demolished in the first half of the 19th century.
10 St catherines church, Dublin.jpg St Catherine's Church, Thomas Street, Dublin Intact 1769
11 The Tholsel, Dublin.jpg Tholsel, Dublin Demolished 1681 Demolished in 1809 as the building was deemed to be structurally unsound.
12 Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (1899) (14804806173).jpg West front of St Patrick's Cathedral Intact 1749
13 Rotunda and new rooms, dublin.jpg Rotunda & New Rooms, Dublin Intact 1791 Now referred to as the Gate Theatre.
14 Rotunda hospital dublin.jpg Lying-In Hospital, Dublin Intact 1767 Still operating as a maternity hospital.
15 Four Courts and river Liffey, Dublin 1799.jpg View of the Law Courts looking up the Liffey, Dublin Partially Rebuilt 1786 - 1796
16 View from Capel-Street, looking over Essex-Bridge Dublin LCCN2003671653.tif View from Capel Street looking over Essex Bridge, Dublin Rebuilt 1753 Rebuilt in 1872 as Grattan Bridge, the Capel Street buildings remain largely intact. The Old Custom House seen to the left was demolished in the early 19th century.
17 Parliament house, Dublin.jpg The Parliament House, Dublin Intact 1729 Since 1803 used as the flagship Dublin branch of the Bank of Ireland.
18 Royal infirmary, Phoenix Park, Dublin LCCN2003671652.jpg Royal Infirmary, Phoenix Park, Dublin Intact 1771
19 Royal Hibernian Marine School and Liffey.jpg Marine School Dublin, looking up the Liffey Demolished 1773 It was originally called the Hibernian Marine School and soon after gained a royal charter to become the Royal Hibernian Marine School. The school later amalgamated with other schools to ultimately form Mount Temple Comprehensive School. The remains of the building were demolished in 1979 after years in use as offices of a cold-storage company.
20 Royal Hospital Kilmainham by Malton.jpg Royal Hospital Kilmainham Intact 1687 Now houses the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
21 Stephens green by malton.jpg St Stephen's Green, Dublin Intact 1664 The green area was originally a common but was enclosed in 1663 with a permanent wall constructed in 1664 for the first time.[3]

In the background the park features a statue of King George II on horseback by John van Nost the younger, erected in 1758, until it was blown up in 1937 by Irish Republicans, the day after the coronation of George VI.[4][5]

22 Bluecoat School, Dublin.jpg Blue-Coat Hospital, Dublin Intact 1773 The Blue Coat School has been occupied by the Law Society of Ireland since the 1960s. The large tower at the front was never built and instead a dome was erected in its place in 1894. The originally planned quadrangle to the rear was also never constructed.
23 View from magazine fort, phoenix park.jpg View of Dublin from the Magazine, Phoenix Park Intact 1735 The magazine fort itself remains in a derelict state as of 2021 with plans for it to be refurbished as a tourist attraction.
24 Dublin Barracks.jpg Barracks, Dublin Intact 1702 Now operating as the National Museum of Ireland and usually referred to as Collins Barracks.
25 St patricks cathedral dublin.jpg Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin Intact 1749 The cathedral spire was added in 1749 by George Semple.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Dunne, Aidan. "Art in Focus: James Malton – St Catherine's, Thomas Street, Dublin". The Irish Times. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  3. ^ Cregan, Michael. "Dublin's Commons under Colonial Rule and the Exclusion of 'Foreigners'" (PDF). Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  4. ^ Carpenter, Andrew, ed. (1998). Verse in English from Eighteenth-century Ireland. Cork University Press. ISBN 9781859181034. Archived from the original on 26 August 2021. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  5. ^ Chastel-Rousseau, Charlotte (2011). "Reading the Royal Monument in Eighteenth-century Europe". Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. Retrieved 5 January 2023.

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