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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. Percy French (1854 - 1920) - A view of Sligo Quay
  2. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Shruna Meala, Rosses Point
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  5. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  6. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  8. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  11. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  12. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  14. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  15. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  16. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  20. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  22. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Kitsy Franklin
  23. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  24. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Portrait of Mary Colum