This image is subject to copyright and cannot be downloaded or reproduced without written permission.
Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman

Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman

Jack B. Yeats (1871 – 1957)

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

  • Artist
    Jack B. Yeats
  • Title
    Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  • Date
    c. 1900
  • Dimensions
    25.5 × 35.5cm
  • Medium
    Watercolour
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented to Sligo County Library and Museum in by James A. Healy in 1965, as a memorial to his parents John and Catherine Healy.
Description

The original title of the painting has not been identified. It is probably the ‘Head and Shoulders of a Man with Landscape’ listed in the inventory of John Quinn’s collection in 1924. Hilary Pyle has compared the image of man silhouetted against a coastal landscape with one used by Yeats to illustrate A Broadsheet of February 1903. The latter was accompanied by Lady Gregory’s translation of ‘It’s my grief that I am of the race of poets’(1).

The Niland watercolour uses a blend of murky browns and strong greens in an expressive manner typical of Yeats’s early work in this medium. The painting is full of formal and thematic contrasts. The age and pensive nature of the man is contrasted by the youth and physical activity of the two swimmers in the sea behind him. The dramatic spatial gap between the figure in the foreground and the expanding coastline behind him further evokes the difference between his world of contemplative thought and the ongoing one of nature and physical life that surrounds him. It is a theme that Yeats was to develop in his later paintings for example, Many Ferries, (1948, National Gallery of Ireland) which uses a similar composition.

(1) H. Pyle, Jack B. Yeats. His Watercolours and Pastels, Irish Academic Press, 1993, p.94.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

Browse the Collection

Browse by: Image / List

  1. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  2. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  3. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  4. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  5. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  8. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  9. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  10. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  13. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  14. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  16. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  17. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  19. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  20. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  22. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  23. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  24. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer