Jack B. Yeats, O’Connell Bridge

My contribution to the nightcap at our first session was an oil painting by Jack B. Yeats (brother to WB Yeats), called ‘O’Connell Bridge’ (1927). According to the book I was referencing, this is currently in the collection at the Pyms Gallery in London:

Jack B. Yeats, O’Connell Bridge, 1927

I discovered the work of Jack B. Yeats purely by chance – the week before our first session I was staying with a friend in Devon (the composer James Barrett), and I happened upon a book on his shelf that featured the paintings of Jack B. Yeats. James is also a painter, and he proceeded to enthuse about the artist, which was great inspiration. I was immediately struck by his work, especially the interiors and the circus-themed paintings. It’s hard to find any books or information about the artist – in the end I managed to get my hands on a book from the library on his Late Paintings (ISBN 0 85488 091 7), which is available from the Whitechapel Art Gallery website (scroll down the page to find it listed), and chose this painting to show to the Culture Club because of its Irish theme (it’s a scene from Dublin street life). It seems to tie in with his brother’s view of Ireland to me – I’m reminded of the lines from Easter 1916:

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses

Jack B. Yeats’s work is well worth exploring further. I’ve done a search on the internet, but could only find a few books showcasing his work, the best probably being The Art Of Jack B. Yeats. Perhaps he’s due a re-assessment.

One response to “Jack B. Yeats, O’Connell Bridge”

  1. Hello,
    I am since about 40 years a big Jack Yeats “fan” I grow up in Sweden, and at an early age, (10 years) saw the paintings, and drawins from Arran Islands and the oils from Sligo. Love at first sight.
    I moved to France, and found out that nither my friends, nor friends of friends knowed who he was… I still love his painting from Sligo, Rosses Point, Ben Bulben (The window), and many others. Let us remember this famous painter.
    Mise le meas. Eilis.

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