A Cup Of Chocolate by Sir John Lavery


A Cup Of Chocolate


Sir John Lavery

Ref GM0345
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 16" x 18" (40 x 46 cm)
Price Add to basket
This superbly evocative painting wonderfully demonstrates the talent of one of the finest portrait painters of his time. Sir John Lavery, who achieved great fame for his portraits of such great personages as Lady Astor, Sir Winston Churchill and the Royal Family, here portrays an elegant and fashionably dressed woman partaking of a cup of hot chocolate. Her smart appearance, however, cannot disguise the wistful air that the artist portrays so beautifully, amid her atmospheric surroundings. Chocolate was first introduced to Europe in 1528 by the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, on his return from Mexico, where it had been a popular drink for centuries. Despite initial Spanish efforts to keep the new discovery secret, the passion for chocolate soon spread throughout Europe, with the first English “Chocolate House” opening in 1657. The Industrial Revolution saw chocolate produced on a vast scale and, while it was no longer the preserve of the aristocracy, it remained a hugely fashionable beverage at the time of this painting’s execution, in 1888. This was a time when Lavery’s stock had never been higher. Having won great acclaim the previous year for his two “Langside pictures”, which depicted the defeat of Mary, Queen of Scots, he achieved global recognition with the advent of the Glasgow International Exhibition in 1888. This was a crucial point in the rise of the Glasgow School of painters, and the Art Journal noted that “there is in Scotland, and notably in Glasgow, a band of young painters who have broken from the traditions of the past and boldly struck into the road that is marked with the footprints of Bastien-Lepage.” This painting is a fascinating work of art, the product of a great artist at the height of his powers.