18th Mar, 2023 9:30 GMT/BST

British, European and Sporting Pictures

  Lot 1090


William F Yeames RA (1835-1918)
"Dr Harvey and the children of Charles I at the Battle of Edgehill"
Signed, oil on canvas, 161cm by 107cm

Exhibited at the RA 1871, No.81

"The Young Princes accompanied their father the King, whilst he waged war with Parliament. At the outset of the Battle of Edgehill, their tutor Harvey, the famous discoverer of the circulation of blood, took them to a place of safety, as he thought, and all absorbed in his meditations, sat down, pulled out his books, and plunged into his studies. It was only when the bullets whistled about their heads that he became aware of the danger to which his young charges were exposed." - Royal Academy accompanying note (1871)

Literature: James Dafforne, 'The Works of William Frederick Yeames, A.R.A.', in Art Journal, 1871, p.100

William Frederick Yeames was born in Russia to a British consular official. He was educated in Dresden following the death of his father where he first began to study painting.

The Yeames family moved to London in 1848 where William began studying anatomy. In 1852 Yeames made a career defining trip to Florence where he learned from and made copies after Renaissance luminaries such as Benozzo Gozzoli, Andrea del Sarto and Raphael. On his return to London Yeames set up his studio in Park Place and began associating with other artists who became known as the St John’s Wood Clique. He was made an associate of the Royal Academy in 1866.

Yeames did not exist as a stereotype of the bohemian artist, instead he lived a civilised and comfortable existence with a smart house in London and holidays to Hever Castle and the Devon coast.

He is best known for his 1878 painting “And When Did You Last See Your Father” which is in the collection of the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. In it a group of Parliamentarians question a Royalist household and a young boy in partiular as to the whereabouts of the head of the house. Yeames' fascination with British history, and the Civil War in particular can be seen in both his seminal masterwork and the fine example in this sale.

Sold for £8,500
Estimated at £7,000 - £10,000


Auction: British, European and Sporting Pictures, 18th Mar, 2023

Traditional Picture Sales offer a wide range of oil paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints from the 15th to the early 20th centuries.

The sale includes the Picture Collection from Denton Hall, Ilkley, West Yorkshire which has been part of the NG Bailey group of companies for over 40 years. NG Bailey is the UK’s leading independent engineering and services business and is owned by the Bailey family. 

A fully illustrated catalogue will be available leading up to the sale.

Entries are invited for forthcoming sales


Sunday 12th March 11am-4pm, Monday 13th March-Friday 17th March 10am-4pm and morning of the sale from 8am. 

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