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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. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Jennie Mitchell
  2. Sean Keating (1889-1977)- Old Kitty
  3. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  4. Sean Keating PRHA (1889 - 1979) - William and Mary
  5. Louis le Brocquy - The Táin - Cúchulainn mounting into his chariot
  6. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  7. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)-Red Hanrahan’s Vision
  8. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- An Island Funeral
  9. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  10. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  11. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  12. Louis le Brocquy - Study towards an Image of W.B. Yeats
  13. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Simon the Cyrenian
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Johnny Paterson singing ’Bridget Donoghue’
  15. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  16. George William Russell (AE) (1867-1935) - Shining Shallows
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  18. Nick Miller - John McGahern
  19. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  20. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - Portrait
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - Communicating with Prisoners
  22. Norah McGuinness (1903 - 1980) - Hanrahan’s Vision (Illustrations for The Stories of Red Hanrahan)
  23. James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) - Maunder’s Fishshop, Chelsea
  24. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Stargazer