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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)- Simon the Cyrenian
  2. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  3. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  4. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  5. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  7. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  8. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  9. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  10. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  11. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  12. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  13. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  14. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  15. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  17. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  18. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  19. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  21. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  22. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ