'He... trained for a time as a painter, spoke always of painting as a painter speaks, and from time to time worked for his amusement with paints and pastels...' (John Masefield, Some Memories of W.B. Yeats, Dublin, 1940)
Yeats had briefly visited Lady Gregory's house at Coole Park in 1896 but, as noted by Foster, '...the summer of 1897 was his first real immersion in what would become the centre of his Irish life... Driving to the small Georgian mansion up its long avenue past woods and lakes, he felt he had found sanctuary...' Yeats would describe Coole as 'the most beautiful place in the world'.
Another pastel by Yeats entitled 'The Lake at Coole' was published in the fourth number of Pamela Colman Smith's periodical, the Green Sheaf. Describing the concept of the publication (then with a different title), Yeats wrote to Lady Gregory 'it is to be quite unlike gloomy magazines... People are to draw pictures of places they would have liked to have lived in and to write stories and poems about a life they would have liked to have lived. Nothing is to be let in unless it tells of something that seems beautiful or chaming or in some other way desirable...'
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