His First Long Trousers

His First Long Trousers



(fl. 1940-1960)

His First Long Trousers

Signed l.r.: YATES/WILSON

Oil on canvas

61 by 51 cm., 24 by 20 in.

(frame size 81 by 71.5 cm., 32 by 28 in.)

William Yates-Wilson was employed as an illustrator for the Ministry of Information during World War II.  Following the war he worked as an illustrator of books and magazines.  For much of his life he lived in Cape Town, South Africa, where he worked in advertising in the 1950s and 1960s.  In 1959 he wrote and illustrated More Alice, a continuation of the original Lewis Carol stories and written at the request of the artist’s daughter.  

The current work is the original design for the cover illustration of John Bull magazine, 31 May 1947.  John Bull had been relaunched in 1946 by Odhams Press who aimed to make it very similar in style to the American magazine, The Saturday Evening Post.  It was The Saturday Evening Post who had discovered the great American illustrator Norman Rockwell who would produce over 300 covers for them.   In emulation of Rockwell, John Bull employed many of the leading British illustrators of the day.  In this between 1946 and 1952 Yates-Wilson provided a number of cover illustrations for John Bull which in subject and style clearly show the influence of Rockwell.  This picture is accompanied by a copy of the magazine.


Height 61 cm / 24 "
Width 51 cm / 20 14"
Framed height 81 cm / 32"
Framed width 71.5 cm / 28 14"