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The Riverside (Long Ago)

© estate of Jack B. Yeats. All rights reserved, DACS 2022. Photo credit: National Museums Northern Ireland

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Born in London, Jack Yeats was the youngest child of the painter John Yeats and brother of the poet W. B. Yeats. As a boy he spent long periods with his grandparents in Sligo and developed a deep respect for the folk traditions and sea-faring heritage of the west of Ireland. When 'The Riverside (Long Ago)' was exhibited in Dublin in 1922 the Edwardian costumes and muted colours evoked a sense of nostalgia for the recent past. The Riverside was an area of Sligo Town, on the banks of the Garavogue River, where boats could be hired to visit Lough Gill. The couple who are about to embark seem caught in a mood of private reverie, their urban clothes setting them apart from the old man who draws in the boat. Many of Yeats’s paintings are based on memories of his Sligo childhood, re-interpreted to illustrate universal themes of human experience.

Ulster Museum





oil on canvas


H 61.4 x W 91.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

purchased, 1967

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Ulster Museum

Botanic Gardens, Belfast, County Antrim BT9 5AB Northern Ireland

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