8 May 2008
Jack Butler Yeats, R.H.A. (1871-1957)
The Little Horse at Play
signed 'JACK B./YEATS' (lower right) and inscribed 'THE LITTLE HORSE/AT PLAY' (on the reverse)
oil on board
9 x 14 in. (22.8 x 35.5 cm.)
Painted in 1948.
with Victor Waddington, Dublin, 1948, where purchased by the present owner's parents, and by descent.
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H. Pyle, Jack B. Yeats A Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings II, London, 1992, p. 815, no. 898.
Horses are a regular motif in Yeats's work. He had always been fascinated by them, reminding him of his youth and the nostalgic freedom of his Sligo childhood. The vibrancy of the present work is overwhelming. The sheer joy of the horse galloping for the fun of it is created by a combination of frenzied brushstrokes and a colour palette ranging from acid greens and yellows through to bright white.
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