Sir John Lavery

James Maxton, 1885 - 1946. Labour politician (About 1933)

About this artwork

Lavery portrayed James Maxton, a man of charm and integrity, before a view reminiscent of the Clydeside docks. Working in the shipyards had strongly influenced Maxton's politics. He had been a teacher, but was dismissed, after his imprisonment during the First World War, for encouraging Glasgow munitions workers to strike. In 1922, while working on the Clyde, he became the socialist candidate for Bridgeton. Maxton was a prominent figure in the Independent Labour Party and actively encouraged the rise of the socialist movement in Scotland. During the Second World War he formed the 'Clydeside Trio' with John McGovern and Campbell Stephen.

Sir John Lavery

Sir John Lavery

Lavery rose to prominence as a painter of society portraits and contemporary scenes during the Glasgow International Festival of 1888. His determination to paint led him from his native Ireland to Glasgow where he tinted photographs to finance his art classes. He studied in London and Paris, returning to Glasgow in 1885. Lavery befriended the artists known as the Glasgow Boys, with whom he shared an interest in subjects from modern life. He enjoyed great success after his move to London in 1896, where he combined his talents as a portrait painter with an interest in contemporary events. Lavery was knighted in 1918.