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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

Browse the Collection

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  1. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  2. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  3. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  4. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  5. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  8. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  9. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  10. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  13. Jack B. Yeats - White Shower
  14. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  15. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  16. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  18. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  21. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  22. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  23. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  24. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||