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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)- Sailor home from the sea
  2. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  3. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  4. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  5. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  6. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  9. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  11. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  12. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  13. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  14. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  16. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  17. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  19. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  20. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  23. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland