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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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  2. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  4. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  5. Estella Solomons - Portrait of a Woman
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  7. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer
  10. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  11. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- A Political Meeting (in the West Of Ireland)
  13. Jack B. Yeats - Crest of the Hill
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  15. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Mountain window
  16. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  17. Estella Solomons - Portrait of Jack B. Yeats
  18. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mary (Lily) Yeats as a child
  19. Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904) - Wood Nymph
  20. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Untitled, the interior of a shop
  22. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Car is at the door
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  24. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935)- Landscape with Picnic Scene