This image is subject to copyright and cannot be downloaded or reproduced without written permission.
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
    1923
  • Dimensions
    91.5 × 61cm
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Purchased by public subscription from the Capuchin Annual in 1962
Description

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

Browse the Collection

Browse by: Image / List

  1. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  2. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  4. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  6. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Sunday Morning in Sligo
  9. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  12. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  13. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  15. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  17. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  18. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  19. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  20. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  21. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-A Western Town, Night
  23. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang