Dimensions: 34.5 × 22cm
Medium: Oil on board
Collection: Niland Collection
Provenance: Presented by Ria Mooney to Sligo County and Museum in 1970.
This tiny painting belonged to Ria Mooney, an actress and the first woman producer at the Abbey Theatre. She worked on two of Jack Yeats’s plays there in the 1940s. Mooney presented this work and another Yeats painting, He Wins, to Sligo.
Mooney may have been drawn to this work because of its use of theatrical conceit. It is an ambiguous view of a Ben Bulben seen through a cottage window, apparently based on a memory of a scene from the house of a great-aunt of Yeats, who lived above the Rosses in Co.Sligo. The lady was known as Aunt Mickey and her home had a commanding view of Ben Bulben. The cosy image of an Irish country garden with climbing foliage and luscious window boxes contrasts with the austere form of the mountain viewed in the distance. The result is a sensuous and complex image of the famous Sligo mountain and the surrounding countryside.
Written by Roisin Kennedy