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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. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  2. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  3. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  4. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  5. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  7. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  8. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  9. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  10. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  12. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  13. atrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  14. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  15. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  16. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  17. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  18. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  19. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  23. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  24. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer