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LOT:40 | Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957) The Saw Sharpener (1917) Oil on panel, 35 x 23 cm. (13.75 x 9'') Signed Provenance: With Leo Smith Acquired from the above by Zoltan Le Winter-Frankl, 1945 Mr Dann, Belfast, 1961, where purchased by Mr Theo Snoddy, Belfast Exhibited: Royal Hibernian Academy, 1917, no.113 'Jack B. Yeats, Drawings and Pictures of Life in the West of Ireland', Mills Hall Dublin,26 April - 10 May 1919, no.8 Literature: Hilary Pyle, Jack B. Yeats, A Catalogue Raisonn? of the Oil Paintings, Andre Deutsch Ltd., London, 1992, p.94, cat.no.108 This picture was previously in the collection of Zoltan Le Winter-Frankl, a Jewish industrialist who was compelled to leave Vienna in 1939. His unplanned emigration to Northern Ireland had a positive impact on art patronage there and he collected some of the finest works produced in Ireland at the time. ''The Saw Sharpener or saw doctor was an itinerant craftsman who travelled from saw-mill to workshop sharpening and repairing the blades needed for the ongoing running of timber and wood-making industries around the country. Self-employed, he provided his own tools and equipment which are prominently displayed in this work by the bag suspended on a long wooden stick over the shoulder of the figure. This distinctive method of carrying one's possessions is immediately reminiscent of established images of travellers, wandering jews and fortune seekers with their belongings tied in a simple bundle. It may have drawn the artist's attention to the figure. In the 1910s Jack Yeats depicted socially relevant themes in his oil paintings. Many of his best-known works of this decade focus on lowly workers in fairgrounds, circuses or urban contexts such as the Maggie Man, (Dublin City Gallery, 1912) the Barrel Man (Private Collection, 1912) and even, Bachelor's Walk, In Memory, (Private Collection, 1914), where a flower girl forms the focus of the painting. The subject of the saw sharpener relates closely to this group of paintings. The dramatic silhouetting of the man against the turbulent dark blue skies accentuates his exotic appearance and demonstrates Yeats's ability at drawing attention to the often overlooked aspects of modern life. The genesis of the work lies in the artist's practice of continuously recording and noting curious sights in the numerous sketchbooks which he took on his travels across Ireland and on his daily sojourns around Dublin. A contemporary account of this painting tells us that the Saw Sharpener depicts 'a familiar figure in recent years on the mountain roads of Co. Wicklow, where he pursued his scarcely remunerative calling'. Yeats was living in Greystones at the time the work was painted and he frequently walked and sketched in the surrounding countryside of Co. Wicklow. Exhibited at the RHA in 1917 the painting resonates with the wider contemporary unrest in post 1916 Ireland and war-torn Europe, both of which were of great concern to Yeats. The coat and hat of the figure lend him a slightly sinister and militaristic air while his stick takes on the menacing appearance of a rifle. The Irish Times reviewer thought him a 'mysterious personage of a somewhat Napoleonic cast of countenance'. At a more mundane level the elaborate costume and guarded stance of the man indicate his need to protect himself from the elements. The cut-off composition and the low viewpoint draw attention to the stormy skies behind the figure and emphasise his dislocation from his surroundings and the settled communities through which he travels. This is added to by the use of the narrow portrait format which further accentuates the sky and the isolation of the sharpener as he makes his way across the landscape. The painting is notable for its carefully controlled use of form and colour. The palette is restricted to two hues - blue and brown. The pale tones of the face, bag and stick of the figure give the composition a distinct centre. The relatively smooth application of paint in the costume of the saw sharpener is contrasted by the more textured handling of pigment in the background. This is made up of highly irregular modulations of different tones of blue which heighten the dramatic mood of the painting and convey the tempestuous nature of the climate in which the figure is moving. They hint at the direction that Yeats's later expressionist painting would take but in this early oil the elements of the composition are contained within the line.'' Dr. R?is?n Kennedy, Dublin, May 2009.
James Adam & Sons Ltd | LOT:40 | Jack Butler Yeats RHA (1871-1957) The Saw Sharpener (1917) Oil on panel, 35 x 23 cm. (13.75 x 9'') Signed Provenance: With Leo Smith Acquired from the above by Zoltan Le Winter-Frankl, 1945 Mr Dann, Belfast, 1961, where purchased by Mr Theo Snoddy, Belfast Exhibited: Royal Hibernian Academy, 1917, no.113 'Jack B. Yeats, Drawings and Pictures of Life in the West of Ireland', Mills Hall Dublin,26 April - 10 May 1919, no.8 Literature: Hilary Pyle, Jack B…
Jack B. Yeats | THERE'S LIFE IN THE FIRE YET | MutualArt
View THERE'S LIFE IN THE FIRE YET By ; oil on canvas laid down on board; 24 by 36.5cm; Signed; . Access more artwork lots and estimated & realized auction prices on MutualArt.