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. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  2. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  3. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  4. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  6. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  7. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  8. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  9. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  13. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  14. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  17. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  18. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  20. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  21. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  22. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  23. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  24. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay