Irish Artist Directory
Sir John

Sir John Lavery RA RHA (Irish Artist Directory)

Full Name: Sir John Lavery RA RHA

Lived: 1856 - 1941

Categories: Portraits, Landscapes, War Artist

Artist Biography

Originally from Belfast, John Lavery held his first art related job in a photographic studio in Glasgow where he coloured prints and touched up negatives. Having been orphaned at a young age and spending years with various relatives, this was his introduction to the art world. Lavery went on to study in London at Heatherley’s Art School, and then at the Academie Julien in Paris.

In 1883 he spent time at the artists’ colony of Grez-sur-Loing where he met Frank O’Meara. It was in 1888 that Lavery’s reputation as a society portraitist began to soar, following a commission he received to paint Queen Victoria’s visit to the International Exhibition which included over two-hundred-and-fifty individual portraits. Throughout his career he travelled to countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Morocco, and exhibited internationally including at the Goupil Gallery, the Royal Scottish Academy (of which he was elected a member in 1896), the Glasgow Institute, Schulte’s Gallery in Berlin and in 1910 a small retrospective of 53 of his most important works was held at the Venice Biennale.

During the First World War Lavery worked unofficially as a war artist, for which he was subsequently knighted. In the 1920s he painted portraits of leaders of the Irish Free State such as Michael Collins. Lavery’s society and political portraits earned him a strong international following, and his work can be found in the National Galleries of Ireland, Scotland, Victoria (Melbourne) and Canada, as well as in the National Portrait Gallery in London, Tate Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Musee d’Orsay, Uffizi, and Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. 

Sir John Lavery featured in Adam's loan exhibitions:

'The French Connection' (2010). Please click here for a link to the catalogue.

'Ireland: Her People and Landscape' (2012). Please click here for a link to the catalogue.

Sir John Lavery Art Previously On Sale at Adam’s Auctioneers

Sir John Lavery, RA RHA RSA (1856 - 1941) The Rising Moon, Tangier Bay, 1912 Oil on canvas, 86.5 ...

Hammer Price €95,000.00

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Sir John Lavery, RHA RA RSA, (1856-1941) Arab Caf?, Tunis Oil on canvas, 51 x 62.5cm, (20 x 2...

Hammer Price €87,000.00

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Sir John Lavery R.S.A., R.A., R.H.A. (1856-1941) Mary in Profile Oil on canvas, 29.2 x 22.9cm, (...

Hammer Price €75,000.00

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Sir John Lavery RA RSA RHA (1856-1941) Portrait of Mrs. Arthur Franklin (c.1903) Oil on canvas, 8...

Hammer Price €75,000.00

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Sir John Lavery RA RSA RHA (1856-1941) Tangier Oil on canvasboard, 24.5 x 34.5cm (9.6 x 13.5''...

Hammer Price €52,980.00

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