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Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland

The Funeral of Harry Boland

Jack B. Yeats (1871 – 1957)

© Estate of Jack B Yeats. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2013

  • Artist
    Jack B. Yeats
  • Title
    The Funeral of Harry Boland
  • Date
    1922
  • Dimensions
    91.5 × 61cm
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Purchased by public subscription from the Capuchin Annual in 1962
Description

This view of the funeral of republican, Harry Boland (1884-1922) was, according to Jack B. Yeats, the only visual record of the event. Cameras were confiscated at the gates of the cemetery. Boland, a former close friend of Michael Collins, died while trying to avoid arrest in Dublin in 1922. He had opposed the treaty and his death was a pivotal moment in the Irish Civil War.

Yeats shows the burial scene at Glasnevin Cemetery with the O’Connell Monument dominating the background. While the earth from the freshly dug grave is evident in its bluish colour, Yeats’s focus is the crowd rather than the coffin or body of Boland. Prominent male republicans including a group holding rifles, stand close to the flower strewn plot. Female figures in black mourning stand behind them. Beside them flanking the grave are members of Cuman na mBan, carrying wreaths of flowers. The tension of these regimented groups of figures is relieved by the two onlookers in the left hand foreground who appear to chat and comment on the scene in an informal manner. The work was exhibited at the RHA in 1923 under the title ‘A Funeral’ but was not mentioned in reviews. Later in 1942 Thomas MacGreevy drew public attention to the painting in an illustrated article in the widely read Capuchin Annual. He argued that ‘Yeats had risen to the full height of the heroic in art’ and that the work ‘had lifted the contemporary scene on to the plane of historical painting’(1).

(1) T. MacGreevy, ‘Three Historical Paintings by Jack B. Yeats’, Capuchin Annual 1942, pp.238-51.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  2. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  3. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  4. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  5. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  9. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  11. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  12. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  15. atrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  16. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  18. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  20. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  21. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  23. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop