L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Hazel in Rose and Grey", by Sir John Lavery

Sir John Lavery (20 March 1856, Belfast – 10 January 1941, Kilmoganny) was an Irish painter best known for his portraits.

Orphaned at the age of three, he was sent to live with relatives in Scotland when he was ten. Lavery attended Haldane Academy in Glasgow and then the Académie Julian in Paris in the early 1880s. He returned to Glasgow and became associated with the Glasgow School. In 1888 he was commissioned to paint Queen Victoria's state visit to the Glasgow International Exhibition. This helped launch his career as a society painter and he moved to London soon after. During World War I, he was appointed an official war artist; he was knighted at the end of the war, and in 1921 he was elected to the Royal Academy.

Lavery was married twice. His first wife died in 1901, shortly after giving birth to their daughter. He married again eight years later to Hazel Trudeau, née Martyn (1886, Chicago – 1935, London), an Irish-American known for her beauty and charm. Lady Lavery would figure in more than four hundred of her husband's painting. Their relationship was often stormy, and Hazel was reportedly unfaithful.

At the beginning of the Twenties, Lord and Lady Lavery "rediscovered" their Irish roots and became supporters of Home Rule. And after the Anglo-Irish treaty, the Irish Free State government invited Lavery to create an image of a female personification of Ireland for the new Irish currency; Lavery's image of his wife was reproduced on Irish banknotes from 1928 until the 1970s.

Lavery's biographer, Kenneth McConkey, described this post's image thus: 

"One of the nicest of Lavery's 'Hazel in' pictures. For once he abandons the full-length format and the composition gains a more curvy, dynamic appearance. Hazel, profiled by what photographers call a hair light, wears a wispy dress the colour of faded hydrangeas."


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