Belfast-born John Lavery attended Haldane Academy in Glasgow in the 1870s and then the Académie Julian] in Paris. He returned to Glasgow and was associated with the Glasgow School and in 1888 he was commissioned to paint the state visit of Queen Victoria to the Glasgow International Exhibition. This launched his career and he moved to London soon after where he became friendly with and was influenced by James McNeill Whistler.
During the First World War he became a friend of the Asquith family and spent time with them at their Thames-side residence, painting their portraits and idyllic pictures like Summer on the River.
After the war he was knighted and in 1921 he was elected to the Royal Academy.
Lavery became tangentially involved in the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War and made substantial donations of his work to both The Ulster Museum and the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery and in the 1930s he returned to Ireland. He received honorary degrees from the University of Dublin and Queen's University Belfast. He was also made a free man of both Dublin and Belfast.
Like others his style changed and his ability to master different styles is very visible in his vast gallery of works. Personally i love his impressionist work and was somewhat pleasantly surprised to discover some of his later works. To many he will best known for his Edwardian tennis works.