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Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre

The Toy Theatre

Jack B. Yeats (1871 – 1957)

© Estate of Jack B Yeats. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2013

  • Artist
    Jack B. Yeats
  • Title
    The Toy Theatre
  • Date
    c. 1910
  • Dimensions
    27 × 37.5cm
  • Medium
    Watercolour
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Purchased by Sligo County Library and Museum from Dawson Gallery, 1964
Description

A young boy in an old fashioned costume is playing with a cut-out theatre. His youth is accentuated by his having to stand on a stool to reach up to the table. The theatre is like the ones that Jack Yeats designed and made in the early 1900s to entertain the local children in Devon where he was living at the time. A number of these plays were published and they feature similar stories of pirates and hidden treasure as seen in the one in this painting. Yeats had an abiding passion for the theatre especially for melodrama.

Behind the boy, through the window, can be seen a large house and beyond it a ship at anchor. This setting has been identified as Sligo where Yeats would have spent many hours as a child playing in this solitary fashion with his mind full of the sea and nautical adventures. His grandfather, William Pollexfen, ran a shipping business in the town and Yeats seems in this painting to deliberately juxtapose the imagination of the child with the reality of the adult world beyond the playroom window.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  4. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  5. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  7. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  8. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  9. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  10. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  11. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  12. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  13. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  14. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  16. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  18. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  20. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  21. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  22. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  23. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  24. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta