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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. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  2. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  3. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  4. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  6. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  9. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  10. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  12. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  16. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  18. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  20. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  22. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  23. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point