Melanie McDonagh Melanie McDonagh

Why did this brilliant Irish artist fall off the radar? 

The National Gallery of Ireland's new John Lavery show should lead to a reassessment of this brilliant, versatile painter

‘Wounded, London Hospital’, 1915, by John Lavery. Dundee Art Galleries and Museums / Bridgeman Images

Sir John Lavery has always had a place in Irish affections. His depiction of his wife, Hazel, as the mythical figure of Cathleen ni Houlihan, which appeared on the old ten shilling and subsequently on the watermark of the Irish pound notes, meant, as the joke went, that every Irishman kept her close to his heart.

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