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William Butler Yeats

John Singer Sargent American

Not on view

Arguably the greatest English-speaking poet of his generation, William Butler Yeats (1865–1939) was Irish born and deeply involved in native causes, including the Irish literary renaissance and Irish politics. He established his reputation with his early lyric poems and his Celtic plays. He was one of the founders of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and the Irish Academy of Letters.
This drawing of Yeats was commissioned as the frontispiece to the first volume of his Collected Poems (1908). Yeats cultivated his appearance as a poet and an aesthete by wearing velvet jackets and bow ties. Sargent accentuates his angular good looks and youthful air. The poet found the portrait "charming" and "very flattering" and wrote, "Sargent is good company."

William Butler Yeats, John Singer Sargent (American, Florence 1856–1925 London), Charcoal on paper, American

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