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Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral

An Island Funeral

Jack B. Yeats (1871 – 1957)

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

  • Artist
    Jack B. Yeats
  • Title
    An Island Funeral
  • Date
  • Dimensions
    91.5 × 61cm
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Purchased by public subscription from the Capuchin Annual in 1962

This sharply observed painting depicts a coffin being brought from the remote Blasket Islands, off the West Kerry coast, to the mainland for burial in the graveyard at Ventry. There was no graveyard on the islands. The coffin is accompanied by a subdued group of mourners, including women wearing traditional black shawls. They contrast with their younger female companions who are instead attired in fashionable modern dress. On the left hand side of the composition another boat can be seen coming alongside. Its crew, who look towards the funeral boat, add to the strong sense of community evoked by the painting. The work emphasises the importance of ritual and custom in the lives of remote communities in Ireland in a period of political turbulence. As in other works of this period Yeats sets traditional practices against the increasing modernity of Irish life. The image of the boat carrying a coffin across the water has a classical connotation in that it recalls the story of Charon ferrying the souls of the dead across the river Styx to Hades.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  3. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  6. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  7. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  8. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  10. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  11. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  12. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  13. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  15. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  17. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  20. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  21. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  22. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners