Tuesday, November 13, 2007
John Butler Yeats (Born Tullylish, County Down, 16 March 1839, died 3 February 1922) was an Irish artist and the father of William Butler Yeats and Jack Butler Yeats. He is probably best known for his portrait of the young William Butler Yeats which is one of a number of his pictures in the Yeats museum in the National Gallery of Ireland. His portrait of John O'Leary (1904) is considered to be his masterpiece (Raymond Keaveney 2002).
Educated in Trinity College Dublin and a member of the University Philosophical Society John Butler Yeats began his career as a lawyer and devilled briefly with Isaac Butt before he took up painting in 1867 and studied at Hearthleys Art School. There are few records of his sales, so there is no catalogue of his work in private collections. It is possible that some of his early work may have been destroyed by fire in WWII. It is clear that he had no trouble getting commissions as his sketches and oils are found in private homes in Ireland, England and America. His later portraits show great sensitivity to the sitter. However, he was a poor businessman and was never financially secure. He moved house frequently and moved several times between England and Ireland. At the age of 69 he moved to New York, where he was friendly with members of the Ashcan School of painters. He is buried in Chestertown Rural Cemetery in Chestertown, New York.
Posted by bushganizer258 at 7:20 AM