JOHN FRENCH SLOAN
"MY TWO FRIENDS, ROBERT HENRI AND JOHN BUTLER YEATS"
Signed bottom right, inscribed verso 'My Two Friends / Left Robert Henri & Right John Butler Yeats / Left handed, Right handed. John Sloan / 165 West 23rd St. / New York, 1909 / JS#1058,' oil on linen laid to board.
Executed in 1910.
8 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (21.6 x 26.7cm)
"Paintings by Modern American Artists," Touchstone House, New York, New York, May- September, 1917.
"John Sloan 1871 - 1951," traveling exhibition: Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York, January 10 - March 2, 1952; Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C., March 15 - April 20, 1952; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio, May 4 - June 8, 1952.
Rowland Elzea, John Sloan's Oil Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonné part one, Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1991, no. 164 (illustrated).
John Sloan first moved into the Chelsea Hotel in 1935. The present lot, therefore, was painted before he moved into the Chelsea, but while he was living quite nearby. Sloan met Yeats in 1910, and had known Henri through school for some time. In his January 18th, 1910 diary entry, Sloan wrote of the evening he painted his two friends, Henri and Yeats, "Laubs, Henris, Mr. Yeats, and Nellie (Mrs. Laub's sister) at dinner and after dinner fortune telling by cards, Mrs. L., and drawing by Yeats, Henri...[while] I painted a small sketch of Henri and Yeats." It was Sloan's experience with these two men, as well as with other members of their social circle whom they called the "Petitpas Group," that Sloan's taste for living and socializing with artists and other creative people was cultivated and nurtured during the last decades of his life.