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This is one of four murals commissioned in 1909 to decorate the hall of the house in Chelsea of Hugh Lane, a private dealer in old master paintings. John designed the composition using his own family and friends as models, including at the right his wife Ida, who had recently died. It was painted from a full size drawing. John then painted out a figure at the centre, and suggested alterations to compensate. Hugh Lane died in 1915, and his paintings were never finished.
Lyric Fantasy was not displayed, nor given its title, until 1940. John devoted his early career to these decorative murals, which he based on drawings and colour sketches.

September 2004