Augustus John OM

W.B. Yeats


Not on display

Augustus John OM 1878–1961
Graphite on paper
Support: 353 × 253 mm
Bequeathed by Sir Hugh Walpole 1941

Catalogue entry

N05298 W. B. YEATS 1907
Inscr. ‘John’ b.r.
Pencil, 9 3/4×8 1/2 (24×22).
Bequeathed by Sir Hugh Walpole 1941.
Coll: Arthur Tooth & Sons; Leicester Galleries; Hugh Walpole, December 1933.
Exh: Hugh Walpole's Collection, French Gallery, May–June 1937 (11); Arts Council tour, 1948–9 (123).
Lit: John, 1952, pp.100–1.

In a letter to John Quinn, dated 4 October 1907, Yeats wrote: ‘Augustus John has been staying at Coole. He came there to do an etching of me for the collected edition [see N05218].... I don't know what John will make of me. He made a lot of sketches with the brush and the pencil to work the etching from when he went home. I felt rather a martyr going to him ... he exaggerates every little hill and hollow of the face till one looks a gypsy grown old in wickedness and hardship.’

This drawing is one of those pencil studies for the portrait of Yeats now in the City Art Gallery, Manchester, to which the Tate Gallery oil portrait is related.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I


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