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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
    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

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  1. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  2. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  6. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  7. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  8. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats
  9. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  10. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  11. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  12. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  15. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene
  16. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  18. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  19. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  20. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  22. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  23. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Bay Pilot, The River Pilot, The Stevedore, The Ganger and the Gang