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William Butler Yeats (/ˈjeɪts/; 13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation." Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929).Yeats was a very good friend of American expatriate poet and Bollingen Prize laureate Ezra Pound. Yeats wrote the introduction for Rabindranath Tagore's Gitanjali, which was published by the India Society.He was born in Dublin and educated there and in London; he spent his childhood holidays in County Sligo. He studied poetry in his youth and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish legends and the occult. Those topics feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the 20th century. His earliest volume of verse was published in 1889, and its slow-paced and lyrical poems display Yeats's debts to Edmund Spenser, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the poets of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. From 1900, Yeats's poetry grew more physical and realistic. He largely renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with physical and spiritual masks, as well as with cyclical theories of life.
John Butler Yeats (16 March 1839 – 3 February 1922) was an Irish artist and the father of William Butler Yeats, Lily Yeats, Lollie Yeats and Jack B. Yeats. He is probably best known for his portrait of the young William Butler Yeats which is one of a number of his portraits of Irishmen and women in the Yeats museum in the National Gallery of Ireland. His portrait of John O'Leary (1904) is considered to be his masterpiece (Raymond Keaveney 2002).Yeats was born in Lawrencetown, townland of Tullylish, County Down. His parents were William Butler Yeats (1806–1862) and Jane Grace Corbert, John Butler Yeats was the eldest of nine children. Educated in Trinity College Dublin and a member of the University Philosophical Society John Butler Yeats began his career as a lawyer and devilled briefly with Isaac Butt before he took up painting in 1867 and studied at Heatherley's Art School. There are few records of his sales, so there is no catalogue of his work in private collections. It is possible that some of his early work may have been destroyed by fire in WWII. It is clear that he had no trouble getting commissions as his sketches and oils are found in private homes in Ireland, England and America. His later portraits show great sensitivity to the sitter. However, he was a poor businessman and was never financially secure. He moved house frequently and shifted several times between England and Ireland. At the age of 69 he moved to New York, where he was friendly with members of the Ashcan School of painters. He is buried in Chestertown Rural Cemetery in Chestertown, New York, next to his friend, Jeanne Robert Foster.
John "Jack" Butler Yeats (29 August 1871 – 28 March 1957) was an Irish artist and Olympic medalist. W. B. Yeats was his brother.His early style was that of an illustrator; he only began to work regularly in oils in 1906. His early pictures are simple lyrical depictions of landscapes and figures, predominantly from the west of Ireland—especially of his boyhood home of Sligo. Yeats's work contain elements of Romanticism.