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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. Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt
  2. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  3. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  4. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  5. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  6. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  7. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  8. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  9. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  10. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  11. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  12. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  13. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Lion
  14. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  17. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  18. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-G’Morrow Strawberry
  19. Rita Duffy (b.1959) -Seige ||
  20. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  21. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  23. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day