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Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral

An Island Funeral

Jack B. Yeats (1871 – 1957)

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

  • Artist
    Jack B. Yeats
  • Title
    An Island Funeral
  • Date
    1923
  • Dimensions
    91.5 × 61cm
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Purchased by public subscription from the Capuchin Annual in 1962
Description

This sharply observed painting depicts a coffin being brought from the remote Blasket Islands, off the West Kerry coast, to the mainland for burial in the graveyard at Ventry. There was no graveyard on the islands. The coffin is accompanied by a subdued group of mourners, including women wearing traditional black shawls. They contrast with their younger female companions who are instead attired in fashionable modern dress. On the left hand side of the composition another boat can be seen coming alongside. Its crew, who look towards the funeral boat, add to the strong sense of community evoked by the painting. The work emphasises the importance of ritual and custom in the lives of remote communities in Ireland in a period of political turbulence. As in other works of this period Yeats sets traditional practices against the increasing modernity of Irish life. The image of the boat carrying a coffin across the water has a classical connotation in that it recalls the story of Charon ferrying the souls of the dead across the river Styx to Hades.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  2. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  3. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  4. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  6. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  10. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  11. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  12. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  13. Norah McGuinness (1903 - 1980) - Hanrahan’s Vision (Illustrations for The Stories of Red Hanrahan)
  14. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  15. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  16. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  18. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  19. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  20. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  21. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  22. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  23. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland