New Acquisition

Frank Daly, Chairman of the National  Asset Management Agency (NAMA) and Dr. Olive Braiden, Chair, Board of Governors and Guardians of the National Gallery of Ireland, view the new acquisition, John Lavery, ‘Return from Market’. The painting was presented by NAMA. 

PRESS RELEASE: 06 July 2011

Lavery's 'Return from Market' now on display in the National Gallery of Ireland.

The National Gallery’s most recent addition to the Irish collection, Sir John Lavery’s Return from Market (1884), has gone on view in the Millennium Wing from today (Wednesday 6 July). The painting was donated by the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA).

Lavery painted the scene of two female figures boating on the river on a summer’s day during the artist’s first visit to Grez-sur-Loing, the picturesque village and colony on the edge of the Forest of Fontainebleau. Boating scenes were a recurring theme in Lavery’s work.

Speaking at the official handover of the painting, Frank Daly, Chairman of NAMA, said: “The National Gallery has been very helpful to NAMA in respect of a particular collection which came into our possession.  In light of that we were happy to make this donation to the Gallery and we are delighted that the public will be able to enjoy this painting.  We are grateful that the National Gallery continues to store a number of pieces of work on our behalf while we finalise preparations for their disposal by public auction. ”

Dr. Olive Braiden, Chairman of the Gallery’s Board of Governors and Guardians, said; “Gifts and bequests to the national collection are even more appreciated especially at a time when resources for acquisitions are limited. This painting is a wonderful gift and is sure to bring much pleasure to all those who cherish the work of John Lavery.”
Dr. Brendan Rooney, Curator of Irish Art in the National Gallery of Ireland, said; “This painting is an outstanding example of Lavery’s work produced during his visit to Grez-sur-Loing during the mid 1880s. It is a very welcome addition to the national collection and represents a significant period in Lavery’s artistic development but also marks the importance of Grez-sur-Loing as a colony and the pervasive influence of French Naturalism throughout Europe and beyond. The Gallery holds two other works by Lavery from his Grez period: The Return of the Goats and On the Bridge at Grez.”

Lavery’s Return from Market is now on view as part of the current display, ‘Masterpieces from the Collection’, in the National Gallery of Ireland.
Entrance via the Millennium Wing at Clare Street, Dublin 2.

Supplementary Information:
Sir John Lavery (1856-1941)
Return from Market, 1884
Oil on canvas, 117 x 61cm
Presented by NAMA 2011

Biographical Note: Belfast-born artist John Lavery trained in Glasgow, London and in Paris. Towards the end of 1882, Lavery decided to commit more of his time to painting en plein air. With this in mind he travelled from Paris, where he had been studying for over a year, to outlying villages such as St Cloud and Nogent-sur-Marne. The following summer, he made his first visit to Grez-sur-Loing, a picturesque village on the edge of the Forest of Fontainbleau. Grez was already a well-established artists’ colony, which had attracted artists and writers from all over Europe and America, including Lavery’s compatriot Frank O’Meara. Lavery enjoyed his first sojourn in the village, which lasted several weeks, so much that he returned the following year and stayed for nine months. He later reflected that those days had been his happiest in France. The theme of boating on the river, whether as part of work or recreation, recurs throughout Lavery’s work in Grez. In atmosphere, it calls to mind Lavery’s monumental Under the Cherry Tree (Ulster Museum) painted during the same period in Grez.  Lavery died in 1941.