H2548-L79508214 Seán Keating PRHA HRA HRSA (1889-1977) Illustration for The Playboy of the Western World - Frontispiece, 1923


In 1917, Keating was commissioned to illustrate the play, a prestigious role for the illustrator. Keating chose scenes from the play which were not seen on stage. He even appeared in the illustrations himself, as the character of Christy Mahon's father. Keating also photographed models from the School of Art and sketched at the theatre, with the actors of the day appearing in the final illustrations.

During the 1920s, the finished illustrations for the deluxe edition of the play were widely exhibited in Ireland. This became a significant connection between literature and the visual arts in the early stages of the Irish Free State.

In 2009, this image was used on a stamp commemorating the centenary of Synge's death.

Search Whyte's on Barnebys here.