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Lot 46: Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957)Man Hearing an Old Song (1949)Oil on board, 23 x 35.5cm (9 x 14'')SignedProvenance: The collection of Iris Winthrop, USA; later given by Victor Waddington for the benefit of the Israel Museum Jerusalem and sold So

Important Irish Art 7th December 2016

by Adam's

December 7, 2016

Dublin 2, Dublin, Ireland

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Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957) Please Register/Login to access your Invaluable Alerts

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  • Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957)Man Hearing an Old Song (1949)Oil on board, 23 x 35.5cm (9 x 14'')SignedProvenance: The collection of Iris Winthrop, USA; later given by Victor Waddington for the benefit of the Israel Museum Jerusalem and sold So
  • Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957)Man Hearing an Old Song (1949)Oil on board, 23 x 35.5cm (9 x 14'')SignedProvenance: The collection of Iris Winthrop, USA; later given by Victor Waddington for the benefit of the Israel Museum Jerusalem and sold So
  • Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957)Man Hearing an Old Song (1949)Oil on board, 23 x 35.5cm (9 x 14'')SignedProvenance: The collection of Iris Winthrop, USA; later given by Victor Waddington for the benefit of the Israel Museum Jerusalem and sold So
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Description: Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957)Man Hearing an Old Song (1949)Oil on board, 23 x 35.5cm (9 x 14'')SignedProvenance: The collection of Iris Winthrop, USA; later given by Victor Waddington for the benefit of the Israel Museum Jerusalem and sold Sothebys, April 1967; later in the collection of Mrs. Bruce Wood, England.Exhibited: 'Jack B. Yeats Exhibition', Waddington Galleries, London Sept/Oct 1967, Cat. No.21.Literature: 'Jack B. Yeats Exhibition' Catalogue, London 1967, illustrated; 'Jack B. Yeats Catalogue Raisonne of the Oil Paintings', by Hilary Pyle, Cat. No.997, Vo.II p.901.This is an intensely moving study of the effects of music on the individual. It focuses on how this is manifested physically in the features of the listener. Yeats, a lover of theatre and music, was aware of the emotional power of song and expresses it in this painting in terms of a long remembered melody and its effect on one member of the audience. An old man listens with rapt attention to a musical performance. His hands are clasped to his face as he turns his eyes away from the stage so that he can hear the music more clearly. Behind him a young female singer in flamboyant costume performs. Her arms are extended before her in a dramatic pose while the strong theatrical lighting illuminates her face, making her appear like an angelic apparition. The head of her aging listener is by contrast solidly sculpted out of light and shade. The darkness of the auditorium is conveyed through intense deep blues with the features of the stage barely sketched in thin blue forms against the almost untouched canvas. The close-up perspective throws the two protagonists into a dramatic juxtaposition in which the other members of the audience are conveyed as abstract red and blue forms.Dr Roisin Kennedy

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