The Graveyard Wall

Jack B. Yeats (1871 – 1957)

  • Artist
    Jack B. Yeats
  • Title
    The Graveyard Wall
  • Date
  • Dimensions
    61 × 46cm
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented by James A. Healy in New York to Sligo County Library and Museum. In memory of his parents, John and Catherine Healy in 1966.

A number of Yeats’s paintings of the 1940s depict old men. The artist, then in his seventies, was becoming conscious of his own mortality and of the predicament of old age. In this work an old man strides along a country road. Behind him an elderly companion shelters against a stone wall trying to light his pipe. The crooked tombstones of a rural graveyard, visible on the rising ground behind the wall, are a reminder of what is to come. The potential morbidity of the image is alleviated by the almost comical swaggering form of the central figure as he strides onwards. The sparse landscape setting in which the nomadic men exist, moving endlessly onwards is immediately reminiscent of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. Beckett who knew Yeats and admired his work shared a similar sense of the absurd and was influenced by the older man’s depictions of the tenacity of the human spirit.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  2. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  3. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  6. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  7. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  11. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  13. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  14. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  15. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  16. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  17. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  18. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  19. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  21. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  22. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  23. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  24. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene