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. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  4. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  6. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  10. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  11. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  13. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  14. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  15. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  16. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  17. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  20. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  21. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  23. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  24. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory