Jack B. Yeats
Lot 19
Jack Butler Yeats RHA, 1871-1957 THE RETURN FROM THE PICNIC (1925) Oil on board, 9'' x 14'' (23 x 35.5cm), signed, inscribed verso. Provenance: Waddington Galleries, London (label verso). The richly painted river scene is one of many paintings that... Read more
Lot 19 Jack B. Yeats
Estimate: €40,000 - €60,000
Jack Butler Yeats RHA, 1871-1957 THE RETURN FROM THE PICNIC (1925) Oil on board, 9'' x 14'' (23 x 35.5cm), signed, inscribed verso. Provenance: Waddington Galleries, London (label verso). The richly painted river scene is one of many paintings that Yeats did of town and cities in Ireland in 1925, a prolific year for his work. At this period he was moving from his early realist style to his later expressionist approach. The forms are constructed out of thickly, applied colour, prophetic of the future direction of his work. Yeats painted another version of the subject in 1947, when he created a group of paintings that centred on boats and waterways. A summer's day is evoked through the title, 'The Return from the Picnic' but also from the warm pink tones of colour on the water in the left foreground that suggest the rays of evening sunlight. Touches of rose are also used to delineate the rowing boat with its picnickers that moves towards the tall industrial buildings on the quayside. The taller roofs suggest a sizeable town, probably Sligo where the Garavogue flows by such edifices. This was a town and river that Yeats knew well, having been brought up there by his grandparents whose family regularly conducted its shipping and mercantile business in such surroundings. The facade of the structures is divided into vibrant blues on the left where the sunlight is more intense and dark tones on the right where the structures are in shadow. This division extends into the water where the right side is depicted in darker greens and blues. The solid construction of the quayside is subtly contrasted by the vibrant form of the tree on the extreme left. Its tall swaying branches add life and movement to the scene, evoking the pleasures of nature and leisurely pursuits of the picnic goers as they return to the town. Deceptively simple, the painting uses a complex blend of colour and contrasting forms to convey the physical sensation of warm sunlight, lapping water and stone buildings, subtly bringing the eye into this strangely tranquil world where nature and city meet. Dr. Roisin Kennedy, May 2014.
Estimate: €40,000 - €60,000 Result: €50,000

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