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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. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  2. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  3. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - The Great Breath
  4. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  5. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Fortune and her wheel
  7. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  8. Nick Miller - Portrait of Barrie Cooke
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Funeral of Harry Boland
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  11. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  12. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Head of a Boy
  13. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  14. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  15. Rita Duffy (b.1959) - Belfast Pieta
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Strand Races, West Of Ireland
  17. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  18. Artist Unknown - Portrait of a Girl
  19. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Singing “The beautiful Picture“
  20. Patrick Hall - Angels Ascending and Descending with Heavenly Spectators
  21. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - Turf-Gatherer
  22. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  23. Kathy Prendergast (b.1958) - Untitled
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian