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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. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  4. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  7. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  8. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  9. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  11. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  12. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  13. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  14. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  15. Norah McGuinness (1903 - 1980) - Hanrahan’s Vision (Illustrations for The Stories of Red Hanrahan)
  16. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  17. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  19. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  24. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty