Jack Butler Yeats RHA

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Artist Bio

Jack B. Yeats was a figure painter and illustrator born in London. His father, John Butler, was also an artist. According to Yeats, ‘A picture does not need translation, a creative work happens. It does not need documentary evidence, dates, photographs of the artist, or what he may think about his painters. It doesn’t matter who or what I am, people may think what they will of the pictures.’ Yeats strived for a vitality and excitement in his subjects, many of which were scenes of action, allowing for great creativity. In 1898, Yeats began to experiment working with oils, later returning to County Wicklow were his work continued to expand and vary. His later works became more Expressionistic, moving to Romanticism and Symbolism to convey an energy of the Irish landscape.

Bruce Arnold wrote, ‘Jack Yeats stands as an isolated, giant figure in Irish twentieth-century art. He dominated solely through the talent, magic, and inventiveness of his painting. He was a man of calm, self-effacing disposition, witty, elusive, kind, generous, enigmatic. He had an innate originality’.

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