A brush with Genius

O Connel lbridge

John (or ‘Jack’  Butler Yeats b. 1861 – 1957, London  was the brother of the famous Irish poet William Butler Yeats.  His romantic expressionistic art  explored the Irish way of life, horse racing and Celtic myth.  He started his artistic career  at 17 and over his lifetime he produced over a thousand works. 

He sings to the night

His early work was realistic but after 1920s onwards  his work became more expressive and went from the more graphic to the use of thickly applied impasto, which seems to have become a trademark of his. Yeats’s use of this medium, thickly applied does not translate  to screen very well, though it does give you a slight hint of the lyrical way he applies oil.  In my opinion the paintings are better seen in a gallery setting.  

Queen Maeve walked upon this Strand

 Yeats’s  later work was inspired by Austrian expressionist artist Oskar Kokoschka (b. 1886 – 1980) who was also a poet and writer and playwright  like Yeats.  I shall be doing a post about this fabulous artist whom I greatly admire at a later date

There is a wonderful website of information and images here  Morning after rain image from here, Queen Maeve here and He sings to the Night here
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14 Responses to “A brush with Genius”

  1. Excellent artist.
    Over a thousand works. wow.

  2. Hi!
    Interesting post, I shall explore his stuff in more detail soon.
    Thanks!
    J

  3. Thanks for visiting J – now following you on twitter:)

  4. I must truly look this artist up. I have not seen much of his work and really like that top painting. Did you talk about this artist in a previous post? Thank-you for this introduction, Lynda.

  5. I love Yeats’ style of painting – for me it’s a kind of order and harmony from chaotic brush strokes.

    • Good analogy Kimberley:) Must admit that I love thick impasto working myself – just give me a palette knife in my hand though rather than a brush. Also I prefer the consistancy of acrylics and impasto than oils:)

  6. artistatexit0 Says:

    Thanks for calling this artist to my attention. In the states, his work is practically unknown. What I like about the internet and reading others’ blogs is finding out what people consider significant in their own backyards. It’s a way to counter what others might consider being strictly regional.

  7. Couldn’t agree more Al! Butler Yeats always comes under Irish Art and of course he does have the connection to W B, his poet brother. What a talented family they were. I think the art and photography that came out of the Great Depression in America is really interesting. I particularly like the Regionists:)

  8. Always enjoy when you post about expressionist paintings, as well as anything regarding the Brothers Yeats. lol Love the last painting by Oskar Kokoschka—beautiful scene. thanks

    • I do love this artist myself Adam, I find those Yeats brothers fascinating and so talented! The last image is Yeats though not Kokoschka (who I will be featuring) Isn’t Oskar Kokoschka an absolutley fantastic name:D i’m sure there’s only Oscar which would rhyme with this name:)

  9. Ah the Yeats family and art–Irish creative energy seems infinite. Now if everyone focused their efforts on ART what a different world this would be. Hm.

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