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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. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  3. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  5. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  6. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  9. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  10. Norah McGuinness (1903 - 1980) - Hanrahan’s Vision (Illustrations for The Stories of Red Hanrahan)
  11. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  12. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  13. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  14. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  16. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  17. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  20. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  21. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  22. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  23. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  24. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum