Possibly Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland, Paintings and Drawings by John Butler Yeats, 1972, no.137
The present portrait was probably painted in New York, where John Butler Yeats moved to from Dublin in 1907. The artist holds a palette and observes himself seriously. It is interesting to draw comparisons with the other self-portraits within this sale, notably the full-length portrait that obsessed him until the end of his career (lot 64). There, although heavily worked, there is a lightness in atmosphere and in the presentation of himself. By contrast, this work bears a gravitas more reminiscent of the Old Masters and in tone is more similar to the small watercolour self-portrait, lot 55, in the sale.
Original canvas. There are signs of craquelure in the background around the sitters head and in the palette, which have been stabilised by a restorer. Overall the work appears in good condition.
Ultraviolet light reveals a small area to the left of his right shoulder, a small area of infilling below left of sitter's ear. Further small areas if infilling to craquelure in the palette.
Held in a gilt plaster frame. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."