A Rally by Sir John Lavery


A Rally


Sir John Lavery

Ref GM346
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 16" x 16" (40 x 40 cm)
Price Add to basket
This stunning watercolour, executed in 1885, is a beautiful representation of the emerging sport of lawn tennis, and of the developing social conventions of the late Victorian period. Lavery’s court was at Cartbank, near Paisley, and the protagonists in his tennis paintings are the sons and daughters of the local bourgeois families. Lawn tennis was at this point an extremely young sport. The original rules of the game, which was entirely distinct from tennis’s earlier incarnations, had been set out by the Leamington Tennis Club just eleven years previously; but its rise in popularity was quick, and clubs soon appeared throughout the country. Tennis fitted perfectly with the Baudelairean ideal of la vie moderne that was espoused by Lavery: modern life, he held, should concentrate upon well-mannered social exchange. The ritualised combat of lawn tennis was the perfect setting for this: it was seen as a healthy pursuit for young men and women alike, providing the opportunity for discourse between eligible partners that could easily be supervised by their anxious parents. This painting, which currently resides in the Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, is a charming evocation of these elegant times.