Jack B Yeats - A Vision of Ireland

"The true artist has painted the picture because he wishes to hold again for his own pleasure - and for always - a moment, and because he is impelled... by his human affection to pass on the moment to his fellows, and to those that come after him."   JACK B. YEATS

For many years, the work of this remarkable artist was only known and enjoyed by individuals with access to the private and public collections, particularly in the National Gallery of Ireland and the Sligo County Library and Museum. Fortunately, major exhibitions have been mounted recently in the UK and America, bringing the works before an international audience. In recognition of the growing interest in this major but little-published figure, Thomas and Lochar commissioned a detailed and richly illustrated study of the life and work of Jack B. Yeats. This page is a showcase for that study.



"Jack B. Yeats: A Vision of Ireland"

by John Booth. ISBN 0 946537 909  15.00  hardbound  
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128pp, profusely illustrated in colour and including 67 reproductions. This unique edition is a high quality production, ideal as a gift or for personal enjoyment and appreciation. Each copy is individually boxed for posting and secure transport.

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Jack B Yeats is unarguably Ireland's most famous painter, and he loved his country with a rare passion, one which shines through his paintings. It was the everyday life of Ireland which fired his imagination - fairs, circuses, race meetings, sailors and farmers, tramps and beggars, trams and city streets - and in all his work he expressed and intense sympathy for the individual, the underdog, the outsider. Particularly he drew upon the memories of his boyhood, spent in Sligo on the remote west coast of Ireland.

O'Connell Street, Sligo c. 1900

It is impossible to separate the story of Jack Yeat's long life (1871-1957) from that of Ireland. A man of peace and a committed nationalist, he was deeply affected by the violence that accompanied the country's long struggle for freedom.

Huge changes and developments took place in the art world during this time; the Pre-Raphaelites, Impressionists, Cubists, Expressionists and Fauvists came and went. Picasso, Matisse and Cezanne were his contemporaries. Yet throughout this fertile era Jack Yeats remained untouched, denying any artistic influence from the past or present, and splendidly indifferent to critical assessments of his work


Before the Start - 1897

Plate 1: "Before the Start" 1897. Black chalk and watercolour. 18 x 12 ins.

"To some extent, Jack B. Yeats chose obscurity. Where W.B. Yeats was the most public of men, active in both literature and politics, his brother was determinedly private, remaining aloof from public life and avoiding public utterances. An additional complication is that Jack Yeats carried the same name as his father, John Butler Yeats, who, to add still further to the potential for confusion, was also a painter.
"Another contributory factor to the widespread ignorance of Jack Yeat's work was his almost total ban on reproductions of his work. He was concerned, he said, to protect the impact of his paintings, claiming that the better the reproduction, the less he liked it. He complained that when people visited a gallery and bought a coloured postcard of a painting, it was the postcard they remembered rather than the picture itself."


A Race in Hy-Brazil, 1937

Plate 9: "A Race in Hy-Brazil" 1937 Oil, 28 x 36 ins. "A Magical, almost supernatural glow suffuses this painting, which refers to the distant past of Gaelic myth - the island of the Blest is an imaginary island off the west coast of Ireland."

Contents

1. A Private Man
2. Genesis of Genius
3. Memories of Sligo
4. London Life
5. Glorious Devon
6. The Poet and the Painter
7. The West of Ireland
8. Returning Home
9. A Time of Violence
10. Chronicler of the City
11. A New Freedom
12. Literary Images
13. Final Years
Chronology
Bibliography
Index


Fair Day, 1912

Plate 12: "Fair Day" 1924 Oil, 9 x 14 ins. "The high-stepping spirited horse and smartly turned-out rider suggest the sense of excitement at the prospect of fair day...  "


The 67 works by Jack B. Yeats included in this book are as follows:

1. Before the Start, 1897. Black chalk and watercolour, 18 x 12in. Courtesy of Sotheby's, London.
2. Before the Start, Galway, 1915. Oil 18 x 24in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
3. Fresh Horses, c. 1914. Oil, 14.5 x 9in. Private Collection.
4. The View, 1949. Oil, 14 x 18in. Courtesy of Waddington Galleries Ltd.
5. Self-portrait by the artist, c. 1926. Pencil, 14 x 10in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
6. Low Tide on the Garavogue, 1944. Oil, 9 x 14in. Courtesy of Waddington Galleries Ltd.
7. Glencar, Sligo, 1924. Oil, 9 x 14in. Courtesy of Sotheby's, London.
8. Queen Maeve Walked Upon this Strand, 1950. Oil, 36 x 48in. Courtesy of Sotheby's, London.
9. A Race in Hy Brazil, 1937. Oil, 28 x 36in. Courtesy of Allied Irish Banks, plc.
10. Glencree Valley, Co. Dublin, 1901. Watercolour, 11 x 18in. Courtesy of Sotheby's, London.

The Old Grass Road, Kinsale, 1925

Plate 23: "The Old Grass Road, Kinsale" 1925 Oil, 18 x 24 ins. "A richly romantic landscape, complete with lovers, in the south west of Ireland, with a huge sky typical of the region."


11. Fleet Street, c. 1890. Indian ink, 14 x 20in. Private collection.
12. Fair Day, c. 1924. Oil, 9 x 14 in. Courtesy of Sotheby's, London.
13. The Rake, 1902. Pencil and watercolour, 18 x 12in. Private collection.
14. Portrait of Mrs Jack Yeats, 1926. Oil, 24 x 36in. Courtesy of Sotheby's, London.
15. The Card Players, 1897. Pencil and watercolour, 10 x 7in. Private collection.
16. About to Write a Letter, 1935. Oil, 36 x 24in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
17. Sketch of Venice in letter to John Quinn, 1909. Courtesy of John Quinn Memorial Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts Division, the New York Public Library.
18. The Gorey Final, c. 1890. Ink and watercolour, 12 x 19in. Private collection.
19. Ringsiders, c. 1890. Pencil and watercolour, 5 x 14in. Private collection.
20. Cider in Devonshire, 1897. Ink and watercolour, 13 x 9in. Private collection.

The Man from Arranmore, 1905

Plate 28: "The Man from Aranmore", 1905 Watercolour, 15 x 11ins. "This glowing watercolour was painted in the year Jack Yeats and J.M. Synge travelled together in the west of Ireland. The proud subject is from Aranmore, the largest of the three Aran islands, off Galway, where Irish was the principal language spoken."


21. The Metal Man, c. 1912. Ink and watercolour, 12 x 13in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
22. The Launching, 1945. Oil, 14 x 21in. Courtesy of Waddington Galleries Ltd.
23. The Old Grass Road, Kinsale, 1925. Oil, 18.5 x 24in. Courtesy of Sotheby's, London.
24. Cottage Kerry, 1914. Oil, 9 x 14in. Private collection.
25. John Masefield, 1905. Ink and watercolour, 13 x 10in. Private collection.
26. Sketch by the artist in letter to John Quinn, 1905. Courtesy of John Quinn Memorial Collection, Rare Books and Manuscripts Division, the New York Public Library.
27. John Millington Synge, 1905. Pencil 6 x 9in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
28. The Man from Aranmore, 1905. Watercolour, 15 x 11in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
29. Publican, 1913. Oil, 14 x 9in. Courtesy of Sotheby's, London.
30. Gathering Seaweed, Ballycastle, Co. Mayo, 1924. Oil, 9 x 14in. Private collection.

The Publican, 1913

Plate 29: "The Publican", 1913 Oil, 14 x 9ins. "A shrewdly observed study of a figure of some importance in the rural districts of Ireland around the turn of the century, as J.M. Synge described in his reports for the "Manchester Guardian" in 1905 which were illustrated by Jack Yeats."


31. The Country Shop, c. 1912. Ink and watercolour, 10 x 8in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
32. The Mayo Coast, 1936. Oil, 9.5 x 14in. Private collection.
33. A Present of Islands, 1948. Oil, 14 x 18in. Private collection.
34. The Rogues, 1912. Ink and watercolour, 9.5 x 7in. Private collection.
35. A Window in Kinsale, 1925. Oil, 9 x 14in. Private collection.
36. A Daughter of the Circus, 1923. Oil, 18 x 24in. Private collection.
37. The Beachcomber, c. 1905. Watercolour, 10.5 x 15in. Courtesy of Sotheby's, London.
38. Dawn, Holyhead, 1920. Oil, 14 x 18in. Private collection.
39. Leaving the Far Point, 1946. Oil, 14 x 18in. Courtesy of Sligo County Library and Art Gallery.
40. The Lying in State of O'Donovan Rossa, 1915. Pencil, 10 x 14in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.

A Daughter of the Circus, 1923

Plate 36: "A Daughter of the Circus", 1923 Oil, 18 x 24ins. "The artist returns to a favourite subject here, with a portrayal of a performance by a small family circus, typical of many the artist knew and enjoyed. It is a realistic, unglamourised painting showing the modest scale of the performance."


41. The Circus Dwarf, 1912. Oil, 36 x 24in. Courtesy of Waddington Galleries Ltd.
42. A Political Meeting, 1905. Pencil and watercolour, 21 x 29in. Private collection.
43. The Priest, 1913. Oil, 14 x 9in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
44. In the Tram, 1923. Oil, 9 x 14in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
45. Draughts, 1922. Oil, 9 x 14in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
46. The Liffey Swim, 1923. Oil, 24 x 36in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
47. The Funeral of Harry Boland, 1922. Oil, 24 x 36in. Courtesy of Sligo County Library and Art Gallery.
48. Communicating with Prisoners, 1924. Oil, 18 x 24in. Courtesy of Sligo County Library and Art Gallery.
49. The Island Funeral, 1923. Oil, 24 x 36in. Courtesy of Sligo County Library and Art Gallery.
50. Flower Girl, Dublin, 1926. Oil, 18 x 24in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.

In the Tram, 1923

Plate 44: "In the Tram", 1923 Oil, 9 x 14ins. "Yeats in his role as chronicler of Dublin life portrays a delightful gossipy moment between three women, each full of animation, who dominate the scene and the little man on the left. The painter was fascinated by the life surrounding trains and trams, and often used moments from them as subjects. This is a shrewd but affectionate piece of observation."


51. The Singing Clown, 1928. Oil, 18 x 24in. Courtesy of Sligo County Library and Art Gallery.
52. Dinner Hour at the Docks, 1928. Oil, 9 x 14in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
53. In Memory of Boucicault and Bianconi, 1937. Oil, 24 x 36in. Courtesy of the National Gallery of Ireland.
54. Singing 'Oh Had I the Wings of a Swallow', 1925. Oil, 24 x 36in. Private collection.
55. A Jar of Scent, 1946. Oil, 24 x 36in. Courtesy of Waddington Galleries Ltd.
56. Ticket Office, 1949. Oil, 14 x 18in. Courtesy of Sotheby's, London.
57. Sky from the Train, 1943. Oil, 9 x 14in. Courtesy of Waddington Galleries Ltd.
58. A Child's Window, 1948. Oil, 14 x 21in. Private collection.
59. Held Up by a Shower, 1945. Oil, 14 x 18in. Private collection.
60. Jazz Babies, 1929. Oil, 24 x 36in. Courtesy of Waddington Galleries Ltd.

The Liffey Swim, 1923

Plate 46: "The Liffey Swim", 1923 Oil, 24 x 36ins. "This painting of the annual swim down the River Liffey through Dublin was the first Yeats painting acquired by the National Gallery of Ireland in 1931. There is some evidence of the looser line of his paintings during this period, but the treatment is generally traditional and completely successful - the total involvement of the watching crowd is beautifully caught."


61. Path of Diarmuid and Grainne, 1945. Oil, 24 x 36in. Courtesy of Sotheby's, London.
62. A Rose Dying, 1936. Oil, 24 x 36in. Courtesy of Waddington Galleries Ltd.
63. Grief, 1951. Oil, 40 x 60in. Private collection.
64. Come, c. 1950. Oil, 9 x 14in. Private collection.
65. Harvest Moon, 1946. Oil, 24 x 36in. Courtesy of Jefferson Smurfit Group plc.
66. Quiet Harbour, 1950. Oil, 18 x 24in. Private collection.
67. Entrance of a Lady with Attendant, 1955. Oil, 20 x 27in. Courtesy of Waddington Galleries Ltd.






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"Jack B. Yeats: A Vision of Ireland"

by John Booth. ISBN 0 946537 909  15.00  hardbound  

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