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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. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  2. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  5. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  6. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  7. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  8. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  10. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  11. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  13. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  15. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  17. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  18. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  19. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  22. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  23. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  24. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals