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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. Norah McGuinness (1903 - 1980) - Hanrahan’s Vision (Illustrations for The Stories of Red Hanrahan)
  2. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  4. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  5. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  6. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  7. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  9. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  12. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  13. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  14. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  15. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  16. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  17. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  20. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  22. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse