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. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  2. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  4. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  5. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  6. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  7. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  8. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  9. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  10. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  11. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  12. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  13. Norah McGuinness (1903 - 1980) - Hanrahan’s Vision (Illustrations for The Stories of Red Hanrahan)
  14. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  15. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  16. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  18. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  23. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  24. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn