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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. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  3. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  4. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  5. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  7. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  8. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  9. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  10. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  15. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  17. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  20. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  21. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  23. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  24. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea