The Brothers Yeats: Irish Cultural Icons
A talk given by the Ambassador of Ireland Mr Daniel Mulhall on W B Yeats, one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century and his artist brother, Jack B Yeats, represented in this exhibition by three important paintings.
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W B Yeats was a key member of The Irish Literary Revival of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923 "for his always inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation".
Jack B Yeats believed that “a painter must be part of the land and of the life he paints” and focused on painting landscapes and everyday life in Ireland in an Expressionist style. He also wrote plays and novels, often as a stream of consciousness.
Both brothers were Irish Nationalists at a time of great political unrest in Ireland.
After the Irish Free State was established, W B Yeats was elected as a Senator and Jack won Ireland’s first Olympic Medal. His painting ‘The Liffey Swim’ won a silver medal in the arts and culture segment of the Games.
Speaker, Ambassador Daniel Mulhall, says of W B Yeats; “Like most people of my generation, I first encountered his poems at school, but it was at University that I fell under their spell. My copy of Yeats’s collected Poems is dated January 1974, when I was a student of History and Literature at University College Cork. I recall buying it at our local bookshop in Waterford with a book token given to me by my parents for Christmas 1973. It has accompanied me on my travels around the world this past 40 years, sustaining water damage and much wear and tear along the way. This Christmas, it has been rebound in preparation for Yeats 2015.”
This year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of W B Yeats. Find out about more events at: yeats2015.com
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