A Western Town, Night by Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957)

A Western Town at Night

Date: 1925
Dimensions: 35.5 × 23cm
Medium: Oil on panel
Collection: Niland Collection
Provenance: Presented by James A. Healy in New York to Sligo County Library and Museum. In memory of his parents, John and Catherine Healy in 1966.

Description:

The Western Town referred to in the title is almost definitely Sligo. Yeats transforms this familiar place into a theatrical backdrop in which a near encounter between two figures is enacted. It is night but the light from an open doorway illuminates the scene. Two men walk in opposite directions. One is a portly businessman in bowler hat, while the other a worker, in his flat cap, is tall and lanky, and strides towards the light. The two figures are situated in an open space like a stage in a theatre. They impart a sense of ease and contentment as they go about their nocturnal routine. The dark towering forms of the buildings in the background and the dramatic red and blue of the sky add a note of tension to the scene suggesting the beauty and sublimity of the West.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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