• 20th Century British And Irish auction at Christies

    Sale 7789

    20th Century British And Irish Art

    12 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 48

    Sir John Lavery, R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A. (1856-1941)

    Portrait of Herbert Farrell

    Price Realised  


    Sir John Lavery, R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A. (1856-1941)
    Portrait of Herbert Farrell
    signed 'J. Lavery' (lower right), signed again, inscribed and dated 'HERBERT FARRELL ESQ/BY/JOHN LAVERY/R.A./LLO PALM BEACH 1927' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    36 x 28 in. (91.5 x 71 cm.)

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    Although popularly associated with female portraits, Lavery's male sitters were not short-changed. During the 1920s he painted a major series of Irish political and religious leaders who, like His Eminence, Cardinal Logue, 1920 (Ulster Museum, Belfast) project a powerful presence. When introduced to Herbert Farrell at Palm Beach, Florida, six years later, Lavery discovered that they had something in common. Although a native of Nashville, Tennessee, the steel magnate and co-founder of the Farrell-Cheek Steel Company traced his ancestry to Northern Ireland. Farrell had established the company with his mother-in-law, Joel Cheek in 1910, partly on the basis of Cheek's success as a coffee importer and founder of the Maxwell House brand. Both businesses prospered - enabling Farrell and his wife, Helen Ritchie Cheek to build a large estate in Nashville, known as Crieve Hall. By the twenties they also had homes in Ohio and West Palm Beach, where Lavery painted the present portrait. In that year he staged a successful exhibition at Whitehall, Palm Beach and in addition to the present work, produced beach studies, pictures of the People's Pool and a view of the sun-filled saloon of the famous Breakers Hotel.


    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    The sitter, and by descent.