oil on canvas
North Berwick was painted in 1921, the year Sir John Lavery was elected as a Royal Academician having established himself as one of the leading portraitists of his generation. From a humble upbringing in Belfast, he ascended the social ranks to create a distinguished body of work representing wealthy and famous society figures. His style is characterised by a sketch-like approach which draws attention to the workings of the paint brush. When Lavery turned his focus to landscapes, he carried over this technique in preference to more finished and formal productions.
Lavery received his first training at the Haldane Academy of Art in Glasgow and maintained ties with Scotland throughout his career. He painted a number of views of North Berwick in 1921 and 1922 and a comparable version to the present work resides in the Tate Collection. North Berwick conjures an idyllic scene united by a bright and harmonious palette. The expansive sky gives the painting an extensive feeling of space and a sense of ease resonates in the confident and free handling of the brush work.
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