John B Yeats painting bought at London auction for Muckross House

A John B Yeats painting, which is of historic significance to Muckross House, has been bought for the Killarney residence.

The Trustees of Muckross House and the National Parks and Wildlife Service successfully bid for the piece of art at a Sotheby’s auction in London yesterday.
This oil on canvas painting, ‘Mrs Herbert of Muckross with a Maltese Terrier’ was completed in 1873.

She’s seated in a richly coloured and patterned gown, with her terrier on her lap; it was painted in front of the wallpaper that’s still preserved in Muckross House.

Mrs Herbert, born Emily Julia Charlotte Keane, was married to Major Henry Arthur Herbert but shortly after the painting was completed she left Muckross.

Her husband refused to accept the portrait and it ended up in the room of John B Yeats’ friend Edward Dowden at Trinity College.

Following Dowden’s death, the painting was returned to the Yeats family where it has remained since.

John B was the father of William Butler and Jack B Yeats.

It was bought yesterday at a Sotheby’s auction for almost £44,000 (£43,750) by the Trustees of Muckross House and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Chairperson of the Trustees, Geraldine Rosney says they’re happy to welcome the portrait to its rightful place.