Lot 41
  • 41

John Butler Yeats

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  • John Butler Yeats
  • Mary Walker (Máire Nic Shiubhlaigh)
  • pencil
  • 24 by 23.5cm., 9½ by 9¼in.
  • Executed in 1906.
together with a pencil sketch of Mary Walker seated with George Russell (AE), inscribed l.l.: Mary Walker and l.r. A. E. 


Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland, Paintings and Drawings by John Butler Yeats, 1972, no.58


James White, John Butler Yeats and the Irish Renaissance, Dolmen Press, 1972, fig.30, p.65;
William M. Murphy, Prodigal Father: The Life of John Butler Yeats, Cornelll University Press, Ithaca and London, 1978, illustrated p.297;
Hilary Pyle, Yeats: Portrait of an Artistic Family, London, 1997, fig.38, p.38

Catalogue Note

John Butler Yeats painted two oil portraits of Mary Walker, generally known by her stage name Máire Nic Shiubhlaigh (one in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, the other in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin). Walker began her acting career in 1900 as a teen and was described as possessing 'a grace and a charm and a poetic beauty that was all her own' (quoted in H. Pyle, op. cit., p.124). She was a strong nationalist and joined WBY in establishing the Irish National Theatre Society, out of which grew the Abbey Theatre.