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John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child

Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child

John Butler Yeats (1839 – 1922)

  • Artist
    John Butler Yeats
  • Title
    Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  • Date
    c. 1876
  • Dimensions
    19.5 × 12cm
  • Medium
    Pencil
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented from the estate of Dr. Richard Best
Description

Susan Mary Yeats (1866-1949) or Lily as she was called was the elder daughter of John Butler Yeats and the closest of his four children. Lily trained as an artist at the Metropolitan School of Art in Dublin and later worked as a textile artist with May Morris in London. She co-founded the Dun Emer Industries (1902) and the Cuala Industries (1908) with her sister Lolly, supervising the embroidery and textile work. Lily travelled with her father to New York in 1907 and was forced to leave him behind when he decided not to return to Ireland. Father and daughter corresponded regularly for the rest of his life and Lily’s letters were a source of amusement and comfort to the artist.

John B. Yeats drew Lily many times. During her mother’s prolonged illness and after her death in 1900, Lily was the main female figure in the Yeats household and was frequently used as a model by her father. The drawing is inscribed ‘Lily Yeats as a Child’ by Lily herself who later identified many of her father’s drawings (1). Lily sits patiently with her hands crossed and has a thoughtful, distant expression on her face. Yeats was greatly admired as a painter of children, perhaps, because as in this case, he understood and was able to represent them as individuals rather than the conventional stereotypes often found in Victorian art.

(1) H. Pyle, Drawings and Watercolours by John Butler Yeats and Jack B. Yeats in Sligo Municipal Art Collection, 2003, p.8.

Written by Roisin Kennedy

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  1. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  2. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  3. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  4. Sean McSweeney - The Road
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  6. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Portrait Figure of an Irish Gentleman
  8. Estella Solomons - Woman in Riding Habit
  9. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  10. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Metal Man
  12. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  14. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  15. Norah McGuinness - Les Bigoudenes
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  17. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  18. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  19. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Sean Milroy
  20. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  22. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  24. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay