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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. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  2. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  3. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  4. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  8. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  9. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  10. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  12. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  13. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  14. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  15. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  16. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  17. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  20. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  22. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  23. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  24. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl