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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

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  1. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  2. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  4. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  5. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  6. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  7. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  8. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  9. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  11. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  12. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  13. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  19. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  20. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  22. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  23. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse