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IRISH ARTISTS & ILLUSTRATION 1830-1930

Caption: Playing away on the pipes as merrily as if nothing had happened.

Caption:
Playing away on the pipes as merrily as if nothing had happened.
Artist:
Yeats, Jack Butler
Materials:
Paper (fiber material), Ink
Techniques:
Photoengraving
Author:
Yeats, William B.
Title of Publication:
Irish fairy tales
Publisher:
T. Fisher Unwin
Publication place:
London
Publication date:
1892
Curator Comment:
Although it is placed as the frontispiece to the book, this illustration relates to the denouement of the story, 'The young piper' by Crofton Croker. The composition is divided into three diagonal bands, the facial expressions of the figures in the centre being emphasised, each of the four having a firm, dark silhouette, the upper and lower bands being more summarily treated. The expression of the fairy piper is a mischievous grin as he emerges from under the shadowy arch.
Note on artwork:
A man and three boys, his sons, look on from a bridge, aghast and amazed as a fourth son, now revealed as the fairy piper, flings himself into a river and is swept away, 'sitting cross-legged on the top of a white-headed wave', back to 'his own relations, the good people'. Behind them, their mother raises her hands and face to the heavens, beside her the cradle in which the piper had spent the entirety of his life.
References:
Snoddy (2002) and ODNB online and DIB online and Grove Art online


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