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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

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  1. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  2. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  3. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  4. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  5. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  6. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  7. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  8. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  9. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  11. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  12. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  13. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  16. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  18. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  20. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  22. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  23. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  24. Sean McSweeney - The Road