In 1903, Jack B. Yeats and his wife Cottie were invited to design sodality banners for the new cathedral at Loughrea, Co. Galway. Twenty-nine banners were completed in all. The present work is an early study for the final banner of St Asicus (see Pyle, Jack B. Yeats, His Watercolours, Drawings and Pastels
, 1993, no.453, p.124); these were then embroidered at the Dun Emer workshop by Lily Yeats. St Asicus is the patron saint of the Diocese of Elphin, incorporating a large area of Co. Sligo. He was a skilled metalworker, which accounts for the bell on which he lays his hand, and which is inscribed with the symbols of chastity and purity, the tower and the rabbit.
Around 1930 Jack and his sister Lily were commissioned a series of four banners by Mrs Oliver St John Gogarty, which may relate to the embroidery design by Lily also included here.