LOT 148

1871 - 1957

The Friendly Well
oil on board, 1952
signed and on verso titled and inscribed "1183"
14 1/8 x 18 in, 35.9 x 45.7 cm

Estimate: $100,000 - $150,000 CAD

Sold for: $229,250

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

Waddington Galleries, Montreal
Acquired from the above by the present Private Collection, Montreal, 1963

Hilary Pyle, Jack B. Yeats: A Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings, Volume 2, 1992, reproduced page 1023, catalogue #1121

London, 1953
New York, 1962

In his later years, Jack Butler Yeats moved from highly accomplished illustrative works towards an expressionist style that was to define his career and make him, today, one of Ireland’s most celebrated artists. As he built on the energy of his earlier works, his paintings from his last decade became increasingly loose and expressionistic. In this fascinating work from 1952, the paint is applied so thickly with the brush and palette knife (perhaps even directly from the tube) that it takes concentrated observation to distinguish the main subject, the woman in the centre and the well nearby. The title, The Friendly Well, may be a reference to one of his brother’s plays, At the Hawk’s Well, which is set on a desolate mountainside by a dried-up well that is guarded by a hawk-like woman. The well could also be seen as a metaphor for the font of all Irish mythology. Yeats had become increasingly interested in the mythology of his Irish roots, and he drew inspiration from deeply ingrained memories of his land and people when creating these dream-like compositions.

This work is accompanied by a photo-certificate of authenticity signed by Victor Waddington in London, November 9, 1978.

Estimate: $100,000 - $150,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

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