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Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman

Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman

Jack B. Yeats (1871 – 1957)

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

  • Artist
    Jack B. Yeats
  • Title
    Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  • Date
    c. 1900
  • Dimensions
    25.5 × 35.5cm
  • Medium
    Watercolour
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented to Sligo County Library and Museum in by James A. Healy in 1965, as a memorial to his parents John and Catherine Healy.
Description

The original title of the painting has not been identified. It is probably the ‘Head and Shoulders of a Man with Landscape’ listed in the inventory of John Quinn’s collection in 1924. Hilary Pyle has compared the image of man silhouetted against a coastal landscape with one used by Yeats to illustrate A Broadsheet of February 1903. The latter was accompanied by Lady Gregory’s translation of ‘It’s my grief that I am of the race of poets’(1).

The Niland watercolour uses a blend of murky browns and strong greens in an expressive manner typical of Yeats’s early work in this medium. The painting is full of formal and thematic contrasts. The age and pensive nature of the man is contrasted by the youth and physical activity of the two swimmers in the sea behind him. The dramatic spatial gap between the figure in the foreground and the expanding coastline behind him further evokes the difference between his world of contemplative thought and the ongoing one of nature and physical life that surrounds him. It is a theme that Yeats was to develop in his later paintings for example, Many Ferries, (1948, National Gallery of Ireland) which uses a similar composition.

(1) H. Pyle, Jack B. Yeats. His Watercolours and Pastels, Irish Academic Press, 1993, p.94.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  3. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  4. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  5. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  8. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  9. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  10. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  12. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  13. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  14. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  15. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  16. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  19. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  21. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night