John Lavery

Lavery’s accomplishments throughout his long life helped him gain the reputation as one of the best portrait artists known today.


About the artist: John Lavery (1856 – 1941) was a painter of Irish descent, best-known for his portraits and scenes of war.

Fame and popularity found Lavery early on in life, when he was commissioned to paint the state visit of Queen Victoria to the Glasgow International Exhibition in 1888. This launched his career as a society painter and not long after, he moved to London. There, he became friends with James McNeill Whistler, and found him a great source of inspiration.

His second wife Hazel was depicted in more than 400 of his portraits. The sumptuous The Artist's Studio: Lady Lavery with her Daughter Alice and Step-Daughter Eileen is currently displayed in the National Gallery of Ireland. Hazel was also reproduced on Irish banknotes from 1928 until 1975 and then as a watermark until the introduction of the Euro in 2002.

Lavery lived till a grand age in those days – 84 – and died from natural causes. He was interred in Putney Vale Cemetery.