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. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  2. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  3. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  4. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  5. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  6. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  7. atrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  8. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  9. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  10. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  12. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  13. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  15. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  16. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  17. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  18. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  21. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  22. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  23. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  24. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes