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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) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  2. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  5. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  6. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  10. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  11. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  12. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  13. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  14. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  15. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  16. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  17. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  20. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  21. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  22. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  23. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry