The Liffey Swim

From Openwaterpedia

Jump to: navigation, search
The Liffey Swim by Jack B. Yeats
The Liffey Swim is a renowned 1923 oil on canvas (61 x 91 cm) painting by Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) that was presented to the National Gallery of Ireland by the Trustees of the Haverty Trust in 1931.

In The Liffey Swim, Jack B. Yeats captures the atmosphere and thrill of the Liffey Swim that has been part of Dublin’s annual sporting calendar since 1920. The swim, held between late July and early August, was promoted in 1923 as ‘the biggest free spectacle of the year in Dublin’. The competitors raced from Victoria Quay to the Butt Bridge, a mile and a half downriver, where prizes were awarded to the first six home. In the uncertain atmosphere of Dublin in the early 1920s, the Liffey Swim was a celebratory event, in which citizens, regardless of age or class, could participate in either a competitive or supportive capacity. The early races were even scheduled to take place in the evening to allow people to attend after work.

In his painting, Yeats invites his audience to engage with the event by cleverly placing them among the people. The crowd leans forward, drawing the viewer’s eye to the swimmers, who have reached a key point in the race and surge towards the finish line. By distorting the perspective, Yeats allows his picture to encompass the entire occasion. In the foreground, spectators jostle for position, while people on trams crane to catch a glimpse of the race. It is likely that the character in the brown fedora is the artist himself, and the woman wearing the elaborate yellow hat his wife Cottie. Yeats was awarded a silver medal for The Liffey Swim at the Paris Olympic exhibition in 1924.

[edit] External links

Personal tools
Namespaces
Variants
Actions
Navigation
Annual Recognition
Insurance and Sanctions
Olympics
OWS Conferences
Race Calendar
Travel & Vacations
Featuring
Education Programs
Help
Toolbox
About OWP
Courtesy of