3
3
John Butler Yeats
SKETCHES MADE DURING THE FITZGERALD WILL CASE
Estimate
8001,200
JUMP TO LOT
3
John Butler Yeats
SKETCHES MADE DURING THE FITZGERALD WILL CASE
Estimate
8001,200
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Yeats: The Family Collection

|
London

John Butler Yeats
1839-1922
SKETCHES MADE DURING THE FITZGERALD WILL CASE
inscribed, dated and signed l.r.: from sketches made in the/ Four Courts Dublin-/ February 1866./ JB Yeats; with further inscriptions under each figure
pen and ink
19 by 21.5cm., 7½ by 8½in.
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Exhibited

Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland, Paintings and Drawings by John Butler Yeats, 1972, no.6 (as The Invincibles)

Literature

William M. Murphy, Prodigal Father: The Life of John Butler Yeats, Cornelll University Press, Ithaca and London, 1978, illustrated p.48;
Hilary Pyle, Yeats: Portrait of an Artistic Family, London, 1997, fig.52, p.46

Catalogue Note

Before John Butler Yeats devoted himself to an artistic career he had sought to become a barrister. He had enrolled at the King's Inn 1862 and by 1866 was admitted to the Bar. One of his first assignments was the Fitzgerald Will Case (see Murphy, op. cit., pp.49-52 for more details). It became a regular practice for JBY to take his sketchbook to court, as we see in the present work. His sketches were enjoyed and admired by friends and he was urged to send some to Thomas Hood, editor of Fun. By this time, Yeats' ideological and non-conservative nature was already causing friction within the Irish Bar. After a number of incidents and encouraged by the positive response from Hood to his drawings, JBY abandoned a promising career in the legal profession to become an artist. It was an immediate decision which left Susan and the Pollexfen family in shock. By 1867 the artist was in London with his young family pursuing the life of an artist. 'I ought to have stayed in Dublin and worked hard for success', he reflected later in life, 'for that was the voice of prudence'. But something stronger than imprudence impelled him: 'intuition, the inner voice - the something which...impels and directs the countless birds when they migrate.' (JBY quoted in Murphy, op. cit., p.52).

Yeats: The Family Collection

|
London