This image is subject to copyright and cannot be downloaded or reproduced without written permission.
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

Browse the Collection

Browse by: Image / List

  1. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  3. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  4. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  7. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  9. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  10. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  11. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  12. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  13. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  14. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  15. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  16. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  17. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  21. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  22. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  23. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  24. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait