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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. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  3. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang
  5. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  7. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  9. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  11. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  14. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  15. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  16. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  18. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  19. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  21. Constance Gore-Booth (1868 - 1927) - Untitled (Holloway Jail)
  22. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  23. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  24. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin