This image is subject to copyright and cannot be downloaded or reproduced without written permission.
Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre

The Toy Theatre

Jack B. Yeats (1871 – 1957)

© Estate of Jack B Yeats. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2013

  • Artist
    Jack B. Yeats
  • Title
    The Toy Theatre
  • Date
    c. 1910
  • Dimensions
    27 × 37.5cm
  • Medium
    Watercolour
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Purchased by Sligo County Library and Museum from Dawson Gallery, 1964
Description

A young boy in an old fashioned costume is playing with a cut-out theatre. His youth is accentuated by his having to stand on a stool to reach up to the table. The theatre is like the ones that Jack Yeats designed and made in the early 1900s to entertain the local children in Devon where he was living at the time. A number of these plays were published and they feature similar stories of pirates and hidden treasure as seen in the one in this painting. Yeats had an abiding passion for the theatre especially for melodrama.

Behind the boy, through the window, can be seen a large house and beyond it a ship at anchor. This setting has been identified as Sligo where Yeats would have spent many hours as a child playing in this solitary fashion with his mind full of the sea and nautical adventures. His grandfather, William Pollexfen, ran a shipping business in the town and Yeats seems in this painting to deliberately juxtapose the imagination of the child with the reality of the adult world beyond the playroom window.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

Browse the Collection

Browse by: Image / List

  1. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  2. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  3. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  4. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  5. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  8. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  10. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  11. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  12. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  15. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  16. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  18. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  19. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  22. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  23. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  24. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)