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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 (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  2. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  3. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  4. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  5. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  6. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  8. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  9. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  10. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  12. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  13. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  14. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  15. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  16. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  17. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  19. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  20. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  21. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  22. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  24. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea