b. London, England
Works   |   Exhibitions featuring Jack Butler Yeats RHA
Jack Butler Yeats was boprn in London in 1871, son of John Butler Yeats, the portrait painter, brother of the poet William, while his sisters Lilly and Lolly were founders of the Dun Emer and Cula Press Industries. His formative years (1879/1886) were spent with his Pollefexfen grandparents in Sligo. Back in London by 1887, he attended art school at South Kensington, and by 1888, he had begun establishing himself as an illustrator for magazines and journals. In 1897, he moved to Devon with his wife Mary Cottenham White (Cottie) and began painting in watercolour and then in oils. During 1905, he tourned the poorest parts of the west of Ireland, providing illustrations for the J.M. Synge articles for the Manchester Guardian. By 1910, having settled in Ireland, he was consisently painting in oils, loving the fluid texture of the medium. In 1916, he was made a full member of the RHA. His style went from an early descriptive, narrative manner, in which the works are carefully composed and painted in muted colurs, to work that is more fluid, with less defined outlines and greater use of unmixed colour. It was his late great expressive works, executed throug the use of primary colour and vivid brush work that gained him an international reputation. Not alone a painter, but graphic artist, novelist and play-wright, Jack B. Yeats became the most prominent figure in Irish art in the 20th Century.

Source: Discover Irish Art at the National Gallery of Ireland, a reference book on Irish Art by Marie Bourke and Sighle Bhreathnach-Lynch. (Published, NGI, Dublin, 1999)
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