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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. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  4. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  7. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  8. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  11. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  12. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  13. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  14. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  15. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  16. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  17. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  19. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  22. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea