YEATS, W[ILLIAM] B[UTLER] (1865-1939, Irish poet) PORTRAIT BY ALVIN LANGDON COBURN (1882-1966),
Lot 175
YEATS, WILLIAM BUTLER (1865-1939, Irish poet, Nobel Prize winner for Literature) PORTRAIT BY ALVIN LANGDON COBURN (1882-1966),
Sold for £1,440 (US$ 2,420) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
YEATS, WILLIAM BUTLER (1865-1939, Irish poet, Nobel Prize winner for Literature)
PORTRAIT BY ALVIN LANGDON COBURN (1882-1966),
photogravure print, proof before letters (no printed plate number or facsimile signature), head and shoulders, speaking into the camera, Yeats's name written in pencil on the mount by Coburn, tipped onto a mount different from the printed version (12½ x 9½ in), extremely fine, 93/4 x 71/4 in (24.8 x 18.4 cm), [taken for 'Men of Mark', Dublin, 24 January 1908]

Footnotes

  • Coburn recorded about this image: 'I was invited to a dinner given by Lady Gregory to Hugh Lane in honour of the opening of his Dublin Art Gallery, and at the dinner I sat directly across the table from W.B. Yeats, and thus I had an opportunity of studying him. After dinner he recited one of his own poems, and it occurred to me how very few people would have been able to do this. He seemed hardly conscious of the people as he spoke. What he did would have been a pose in anyone else, but with him it was quite natural, for Yeats is a real poet. After dinner I was introduced, and the next morning was appointed for a sitting. I remembered how he had looked reciting at the dinner table, and I asked him if he would do so again while I photographed him. Without any hesitation he began on some beautiful lines, while I flared a magnesium flash-light at intervals...this seemed the most fitting way of getting the effect of speaking in the portrait of Yeats.'

    A reviewer of Men of Mark enthused: 'The Yeats is fantastically like'. Yeats wrote of Coburn: 'Coburn, who understands photography, is celebrated in our world.'

    See note on Coburn at the end of the catalogue.
Activities
Similar items