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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. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  3. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  5. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  6. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Mare and Foals
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  8. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  11. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  12. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  13. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  14. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Self Portrait
  15. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  16. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  17. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  19. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  20. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  21. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Singing The Minstrel Boy
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  24. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows