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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. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  2. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  4. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  5. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  6. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  10. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  12. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  13. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  14. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  15. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  16. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  18. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  19. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  22. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  23. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“