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

Bathing Studies

Sir John Lavery, R.A., R.S.A., R.H.A. (1856-1941)
Bathing Studies
signed 'J. Lavery' (lower left), signed again, inscribed and dated 'BATHING STUDIES/LAVERY/1930' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas-board
20 x 23¾ in. (50.8 x 60.4 cm.)
London, P. & D. Colnaghi and Co., The Majesties' Court, Buckingham Palace, 1931, Portrait Studies and other Sketches by Sir John Lavery, R.A., 1931, no. 44.
London, Spanish Medical Aid Exhibition, 1938 (?), no. 58.
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Lot Essay

'Throughout his career Lavery produced oil studies of fragments of his compositions. Often, in these cases, isolated and unrelated figures or groups appeared at random on the same canvas as notes to be used later in a larger scheme. They were for the most part, painted from life and went hand in hand with a full compositional study of the setting in which they would be placed. There are numerous examples of this practice going back to Lavery's important early commission to paint The State Visit of Queen Victoria to the International Exhibition, Glasgow, 1888 (Glasgow City Art Gallery).

The present studies originate from Lavery's visit to Florida in 1927 to attend an exhbition of his work arranged by Sir Joseph Duveen at the White Hall. While not engaged on portrait commissions, the painter visited the People's Pool, an open air public swimming pool where he produced a compositional sketch (formerly Pyms Gallery, London). This and the present canvas formed the basis for Winter in Florida (formerly Roy Miles Fine Art Paintings, London), a large canvas which was shown at the Glasgow Institute of Fine Art in 1929 (no. 123) and later exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1938 (no. 215). The lounging female in the lower right corner of the present Bathing Studies has been transposed to the right of Winter in Florida, while the clothed seated female and reclining male figures are on the left of hte picture. The hesitant child, upper right, woman lying on the diving board and that cradling her child who is learning to swim, have not been included. Two separate, but similar works were painted at Chiswick baths in the following year.'

(Kenneth McConkey, private correspondance, October 2000).

We are very grateful to Professor Kenneth McConkey for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.


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