1
1
John Butler Yeats
MRS JOHN BUTLER YEATS (SUSAN MARY POLLEXFEN)
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 3,375 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
1
John Butler Yeats
MRS JOHN BUTLER YEATS (SUSAN MARY POLLEXFEN)
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 3,375 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Yeats: The Family Collection

|
London

John Butler Yeats
1839-1922
MRS JOHN BUTLER YEATS (SUSAN MARY POLLEXFEN)

Literature

William M. Murphy, The Yeats Family and the Pollexfens of Sligo, Dolmen Press, Dublin, 1971, illustrated no.1;
James White, John Butler Yeats and the Irish Renaissance, Dolmen Press, Dublin, 1972, p.21;
William M. Murphy, Prodigal Father: The Life of John Butler Yeats, Cornelll University Press, Ithaca and London, 1978, illustrated p.54;
William Murphy, Family Secrets, William Butler Yeats and his Relatives, Syracuse University Press, New York, 1995, p.39, fig.17;
Hilary Pyle, Yeats: Portrait of an Artistic Family, London, 1997, p.98, fig.55, p.54;
Bruce Arnold, Jack Yeats, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1998, fig.3, p.4



Catalogue Note

Susan was the eldest of the Pollexfen daughters and two years younger than her brother George (lot 27). John Butler Yeats first met her in 1862; she was pretty, with striking contrast in her eyes, one of which was blue, the other brown, each of a 'decided' colour. As W. Murphy commented, their early courtship was 'to lead to one of the most frustrating and fruitful marriages in the history or Ireland' (Murphy, op. cit., p.34). They were engaged in 1862 and married the following year. 

The present portrait was done in 1867, the year JBY took Susan and their two-year-old son, William, to London to launch his career as an artist. It reveals the early Pre-Raphaelite influence which initially captured JBY on his move to London and his circle of close artist-friends, Edwin Ellis, John Nettleship and George Wilson. One of his neighbours was Ford Madox Brown and it interesting to note, as James White points out, that the present work bears a striking resemblance to Ford Madox Brown's wife, Emma, in The Last of England (Birmingham City Art Gallery).  

Yeats: The Family Collection

|
London