'By 1925 Lavery had emerged as a painter of interiors - or more strictly, 'portrait interiors'. Desmond MacCarthy described these works as ones in which the sitters are 'often as subsidiary to the whole effect as some other object in the room' (Apollo, 2, 1925, p.268). MacCarthy contended that domestic spaces are often as individual and expressive as the characters who inhabit them. The works illustrate aspects of taste, and excite the natural curosity of viewers. 'It is a catalogue of hints and addresses', he wrote.
Lavery had of course been producing interiors since the 1880s. The genre became more important within the oeuvre, perhaps in response to the Venetian interiors of Sargent, around 1905. Works like The Greyhound, circa 1908, (The Ulster Museum, Belfast), a picture of the drawing room at the British Legation at Tangier, with the British Minister, Sir Reginald Lister, his dog, and Eileen Lavery, expressed the nonchalance of colonnial rule. However, the interiors of the mid-twenties to which MacCarthy referred, those which were shown in London in 1925, and toured from New York, through the cities of the east coast of the United States by Joseph Duveen, were prefigured in an earlier group, around 1920, which includes The Van Dyck Room, Wilton, the artist's Diploma picture at the Academy (Royal Academy of Arts, London).
The Drawing Room, Falconwood, is from this earlier group and was shown at the artist's joint exhibition with Lady Lavery at the Alpine Club in 1921. It depicts the interior of the London home of Lavery's friends, Baron Rudolph and his wife, 'Baba' d'Erlanger at Falconwood, Shooter's Hill, on the south-eastern approaches to the city. d'Erlanger was a member of the Paris banking firm which extended its interests to London, under the guidance of Baron Emile d'Erlanger in the late nineteenth century. The Laverys socialised with the d'Erlangers and stayed at their palace at Sidi-bu-Said in Tunisia in 1919. Portraits of the d'Erlangers by Lavery are recorded but untraced. The present interior with its classical columns and pale walls was the epitome of taste around the time of the Great War. The plate glass Versailles-style mirrors, reminiscent of the work of Orpen at this period, and in this case reflecting the painter and his easel, were also very fashionable'.
(Kenneth McConkey, private correspondence, 1999).