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Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)

A Political Meeting (in the West of Ireland)

Jack B. Yeats (1871 – 1957)

© Estate of Jack B Yeats. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2013

  • Artist
    Jack B. Yeats
  • Title
    A Political Meeting (in the West of Ireland)
  • Date
    1905
  • Dimensions
    71.5 × 53.25cm
  • Medium
    Watercolour and pencil
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented to Sligo County Library and Museum by James A. Healy in 1965, as a memorial to his parents John and Catherine Healy.
Description

On 11 February 1905 the Lily of Lough Gill branch of the Irish National Foresters welcomed the Lord Mayor of Dublin, secretary general of the society, to Sligo. The latter was the only surviving member of those who had founded the Irish National Foresters, a nationalist organisation which had broken away from the Ancient Order of Foresters in 1877. It was one of the most widespread and popular Irish friendly societies of the pre-World War One period with branches in several countries throughout the world.

Yeats’s painting shows members of the Foresters wearing sashes and carrying banners depicting Robert Emmet and Irish harps and jostling for position outside the town hall in Sligo. The Lord Mayor of Dublin can be seen in an upper floor window of this building, obviously speaking with great passion, his arms raised dramatically. His speech attacked the evils of emigration. Behind the swirling forms of the foresters and the grey buildings of the town can be seen the mountains of the Ben Bulben range and a dark stormy sky.

Yeats was in England at the time of this event and probably based his painting on a photograph (1). His version manages to capture the dynamic movement of the crowd and resonates with the burgeoning nationalist fervour of this period. Yeats was probably drawn to the subject as it was reminiscent of his 1898 visit to Sligo when he witnessed the unveiling of a monument to Bartholomew Teeling, a hero of the 1798 rebellion which occasioned a similar sense of excitement and historical occasion. The work was acquired by John Quinn at an exhibition in Dublin in 1905 and transported to New York. James A. Healy subsequently bought it in 1939 and donated it to Sligo in 1965.

(1) H. Pyle, Jack B. Yeats at the Niland Gallery Sligo, 1998, p.16.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  2. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  3. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  4. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  5. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  6. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  9. Norah McGuinness (1903 - 1980) - Hanrahan’s Vision (Illustrations for The Stories of Red Hanrahan)
  10. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  11. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  12. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  14. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  15. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  17. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  18. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  19. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  21. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  22. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  24. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory