Sir John Lavery

Mrs Guthrie


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Not on display

Sir John Lavery 1856–1941
Oil paint on wood
Support: 318 × 171 mm
frame: 410 × 270 × 50 mm
Purchased 1945

Display caption

This tiny portrait study is of the wife of Lavery's friend the artist James Guthrie. They had married the year before. It may be a sketch for a larger portrait, or perhaps executed as a present. Lavery became a stylish portrait painter, especially of women, and like Whistler had a preference for dark colours and elongated proportions, but with a sharper sense of fashion. He began his career in Glasgow, where with Guthrie he belonged to a group of artists known as the 'Glasgow Boys'. They followed a French interest in painting out of doors. Lavery often began a new subject with a very small study, painted directly in front of his model.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

N05578 MRS GUTHRIE (?) 1898
Inscr. ‘to my friend Guthrie’ t.l. and ‘J. Lavery 98 [?]’ b.r. (the figures now illegible but given in earlier Tate Gallery catalogues).
Oil on wood, 12 1/2×6 3/4 (31·5×17).
Purchased from the Nicholson Gallery (Knapping Fund) 1945.

Helen Newton, second daughter of Alexander Whitelaw of Rowmore; she married Sir James Guthrie (1859–1930), a leading member of the Glasgow School and a friend of Lavery, in 1897 and died in 1912.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I

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