19
19
John Butler Yeats
MRS HERBERT OF MUCKROSS WITH A MALTESE TERRIER
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 43,750 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
19
John Butler Yeats
MRS HERBERT OF MUCKROSS WITH A MALTESE TERRIER
Estimate
15,00020,000
LOT SOLD. 43,750 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Yeats: The Family Collection

|
London

John Butler Yeats
1839-1922
MRS HERBERT OF MUCKROSS WITH A MALTESE TERRIER

Exhibited

Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland, Paintings and Drawings by John Butler Yeats, 1972, no.90

Literature

William M. Murphy, Prodigal Father: The Life of John Butler Yeats, Cornelll University Press, Ithaca and London, 1978, pp.84, 96;
Bruce Arnold, Jack Yeats, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1998, p.15

Catalogue Note

The present portrait was John Butler Yeats's first big commission, received in 1872 from an unknown benefactor to paint members of the Herbert family at Muckross House, Killarney (extant today). The family had been there for successive generations and the house had been completely rebuilt in 1843 and the gardens extensively worked for Queen Victoria's visit in 1861. JBY arrived in February 1873 but scarcely had time to begin his commission when news of sudden the death of his son Robert 'Bobbie' Butler Yeats reached him. The painting was postponed and it was not until October that John returned to finish the assignment. Mrs Herbert, an attractive young woman, is painted in a richly coloured and patterned gown with her terrier upon her lap. 

Shortly after completing the painting, Mrs Herbert absconded with a lover never to return to the house. Consequently, the husband refused to take the portrait and it ended up in the room of JBY's friend Edward Dowden at Trinity College. Upon his death, the picture was returned to the Yeats family where it since remained. Family tradition has it that the lover who whisked Mrs Herbert away was the footman. 

Yeats: The Family Collection

|
London