Sir John Lavery, RA, RHA, RSA Irish, 1856-1941

John Lavery was born in Belfast and trained in Glasgow and Paris. He was associated with the Glasgow School, but he moved to London in the late 1880s and became a successful portrait painter. He was an official artist in the First World War, but was unable to travel to the Front because of illness, so much of his work was completed in Britain. 


Lavery was involved in the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War, and was a great supporter of Michael Collins. He returned to Ireland in the 1930s, where he received honorary degrees from the University of Dublin and Queen's University Belfast. Lavery also maintained contacts with the Glasgow art scene throughout his life, through membership of Glasgow Art Club and exhibiting at its annual exhibitions. 


Like William Orpen, Raybury was appointed as an official artist during World War I. However, due to his health, he was unable to travel to the Western Front. A serious car accident during the Zeppelin bombing also prevented him from acting as a war artist. He stayed in England and mainly painted boats, planes and airships. During the war, he was a close friend of the Asquith family and spent time with them in their dwellings on Sutton Court Nathem's Side, where he was idyllic, such as their portraits and the Summer of the River (Hugh laneGallery).


After the war, he was knighted and got selected to the Royal Academy in 1921. He left no stone unturned and exhibited his mesmerising pieces of art at the competitions of Summer Olympics 1924, 1928 and the 1932 Summer Olympics.


During this time, he and his wife, Hazel, have been tangentially concerned with the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War. They are popular for giving their London home to the Irish negotiators throughout the negotiations mainly to the Anglo-Irish Treaty. After Michael Collins got assassinated, Lavery painted Michael Collins, Love of Ireland, and exhibited at the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery in Dublin. In 1929, Lavery made huge donations of his paintings to each, The Ulster Museum and the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery.


In the nineteen thirties, he moved back to Ireland. He acquired honorary tiers from the University of Dublin and Queen's University Belfast. He additionally became a freeman and got popularity in Dublin and Belfast. A long-status member of Glasgow Art Club, Lavery exhibited on the club's annual exhibitions, which includes its exhibition in 1939 wherein, his The Lake at Ranelagh, was also demonstrated and put forth for some big displays.