• 20th Century British And Irish auction at Christies

    Sale 7789

    20th Century British And Irish Art

    12 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 43

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

    War Memories

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Sir John Lavery, R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A. (1856-1941)
    War Memories
    signed 'J Lavery' (lower right), signed again, inscribed and dated '"WAR MEMORIES"/THE RT. HON. DAVID LLOYD GEORGE/CHURT 1934/By LAVERY' (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas-board
    20 x 24 in. (50.8 x 61 cm.)


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    For Lavery, the portrait of David Lloyd George constituted unfinished business dating back some thirteen years. When he was working on the Irish Treaty suite of portraits to be donated to the Hugh Lane Gallery, the Prime Minister had refused to sit - claiming a diary filled with affairs of state. In 1934, long out of office and dictating his war memories, Lloyd George was more amenable and Lavery set off to his home at Churt, near Farnham in Surrey. There he painted four portrait studies and two interiors. One, showing Lloyd George and his secretary, Frances Stevenson, is contained in the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, New Brunswick. In the present version, the subject sits alone and Miss Stevenson's place is taken by a large vase of delphiniums. Lavery recalled that he had 'the double advantage of catching him in a characteristic pose and not feeling that [he] was encroaching too much on his time'. Nevertheless, the painter remained somewhat wary of the 'great charm' of the old Liberal leader - wryly recalling, 'he settled the Irish question (more or less)'.

    K.M.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Lord Sempill to his daughter, Lady Sempill.
    with Spink, London, circa 1971.
    with Pyms Gallery, London, where purchased by the present owner.


    Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, Sir John Lavery, London, Spink, 1971, no. 56, illustrated.
    K. McConkey, exhibition catalogue, Sir John Lavery, Belfast, Ulster Museum, 1984, p. 106, no. 110, illustrated.
    K. McConkey, Sir John Lavery, Edinburgh, 1993, p. 181.


    Exhibited

    London, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, 1934.
    Edinburgh, Society of Eight, 1934.
    Bradford, 1934.
    Toronto, 1935.
    Dundee, Victoria Art Galleries, Paintings by Sir John Lavery, September 1936, no. 9.
    Aberdeen, 1937.
    Glasgow, Glasgow Art Club, 1938.
    London, Leicester Galleries, Sir John Lavery Memorial Exhibition, April 1941, no. 21.
    London, Spink, Sir John Lavery, June - July 1971, no. 56.
    Edinburgh, Fine Art Society, Sir John Lavery, August - September 1984, no. 110: this exhibition travelled to London, Fine Art Society, September - October 1984; Belfast, Ulster Museum, November 1984 - January 1985; and Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland, February - March 1985.