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ID number:  BIRRC-A0449
Institution:  Research and Cultural Collections
Named collection:  Campus Collection of Fine and Decorative Art
Artist / Maker:  Yates, Frederic (1854-1919)
Title / Object name:  Portrait of Ernest de Selincourt
Object type:  Painting
Culture:  British
Date made:  1907
Materials:  Oil on canvas
Measurements:  62.2 x 49.5 cm

Very little is known about the circumstances of this commission. A likely connection is that Professor de Sélincourt, a Wordsworth specialist, was in touch with artists in the Lake District, where Fred Yates was a founding member of the Lake Artists’ Society in 1904. Yates painted many important figures at the turn of the century including Charlotte Mason (the innovative educator who developed the concept of a liberal education for all) Henry Wood (the conductor and founder of the Promenade Concerts) and Woodrow Wilson (28th President of the United States). Yates was born in 1854 in Southampton and later moved to Liverpool. He traveled to America in 1881 where he became a professional artist. He had two periods of study in Paris with the history painter Joseph Florentin Bonatt 1833-1922 and Adolph William Bouguereau 1825-1905, known for his classical mythological paintings and religious subjects. He later journeyed to the Far East, as far as Japan. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy, and at the Pastel Society, the New English Art Club, the New Gallery, and the Walker Gallery. Ernest de Sélincourt (1870-1943) was educated at Dulwich College and University College, Oxford. He became Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Birmingham in 1908. He became Vice Principal of the University 1931, serving until 1935. He is best known as an editor of William Wordsworth’s and Dorothy Wordsworth poetry. He was Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1928 to 1933 and a Fellow of University College, Oxford. His Papers are held in the University of Birmingham Special Collections. The painting was restored in 2003 with financial support from the Hon C.C. Morris, eldest grandson of Prof. de Sélincourt and other members of the family.

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