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Established 16/3/2000

The paintings of Raymond Balfe

Sun illuminating Dowth's southern chamber

Dowth's southern entrance

This stunning painting (oil on wood) captures that wonderful moment when the sun shines into the southern passage at the Dowth mound and illuminates the central chamber. The sun shines in here from October to February, but on the evening of Winter Solstice, the beam of light strikes a richly carved stone in the chamber. See Winter Sunsets for more information on this phenomenon.


An extraordinary astronomical moment was captured in this painting by Raymond Balfe. The painting was done from the top of Dowth mound, on the evening of November 14th, 2000, and the sun can clearly be seen setting over the mound of Newgrange in the distance. The sun's setting position on November 14th coincides with the setting position of the moon during minor standstill south, which occurs roughly once every 19 years as part of the great lunar cycle. Martin Brennan suggested 20 years ago that some monuments in the Boyne Valley were aligned to lunar standstills. This painting appears to confirm this belief. It is just one of a series of sunset paintings at Dowth by Raymond Balfe.

Sunset at Newgrange

Looking west from Dowth


Another stunning painting from Dowth, this time completed in the autumn, giving some very rich colours to the scene. The painting shows the view from near the top of Dowth, looking westwards into the Brugh na Bóinne area. Newgrange is visible near the left of the picture close to the horizon.

More paintings by Raymond Balfe | Art index

Note: All paintings are copyright of Raymond Balfe. Photographs of the paintings are also copyright of Raymond Balfe. All rights reserved. Under no circumstances can these images be copied or reproduced without the prior written consent of the artist. Raymond Balfe can be contacted at All images seen here are digitally scanned from print film, and colouration may vary from the original painting. The website author cannot be held responsible for this variation.
All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
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