[Maud Gonne's gift to W. B. Yeats]
|Main Creator:||Gonne, Maud, 1866-1953|
A symbolic portrait of a golden-haired Gaelic queen or goddess [possibly Medb or Maidbh or Maeve, warrior Queen of Connacht?] in green dress mounted on a white unicorn with jewelled bridle, attended by a page wearing a red cloak, interlacing birds overhead, within a Celtic scroll border, gouache or tempera on vellum, signed lower right with her monogram "MG" [in Gaelic lettering]. In a contemporary finely carved fruitwood tabernacle-style frame with matching Celtic motifs and interlaced birds, [43 x 20 cms including frame]. Maud Gonne was interested in Maeve, warrior Queen of Connacht, whose cattle-raid on Ulster is described in the old-Irish Táin saga and in 1902, Gonne signed a letter to Yeats thus; she also signed herself 'old Medb' when corresponding with Ethel Mannin [MS. Dept., NLI]. She used 'Maidbh' ['Maeve'] as her pen-name in 'Bean na hÉireann', the first nationalist-feminist journal to be produced in Ireland  edited by Helena Molony. According to Prof. Deirdre Toomey the colour palette in this work is close to visions which Maud Gonne describes to Yeats in a letter of December 1898 (in which she describes the 'Initiation of the Spear' from their 'mystical marriage' - see  Gonne-Yeats Letters, 1893-1938, pp. 99-100). From about 1905 onwards Maud Gonne took regular lessons in painting in Paris from Joseph Granié (1861-1915), an artist who worked in a Symboliste idiom. Prof. Toomey believes that as this work at PD 4359 TF is more competent than her mystical marriage sketch [a coloured chalk sketch which the late Anna MacBride White lent to the NLI Yeats exhibition], it could be dated post-1905 (information supplied to the NLI by Prof. Deirdre Toomey, 13 May 2015).
|Format:||PRINTS & DRAWINGS|
|Published / Created:||
[S.l. : Maud Gonne, n.d.].
Physical description: 1 painting: gouache or tempera on vellum ; 43 x 20 cm [including frame].
Provenance: W.B. Yeats to Mrs. Yeats, to Anne Yeats; sale of property from the estate of Anne Yeats (2002) where purchased by a vendor who sold it (2008) when acquired by NLI.
|Call Number||View in||Collection|
|PD 4359 TF||
|Prints & Drawings|
Reproduction rights owned by the National Library of Ireland.