c. 1905

The Green Hammock (c.1905). Sir John Lavery (Irish, 1856-1941). Oil on canvas-board.

In 1884, when he was working at the artists’ colony at Grez-sur-Loing near Fontainebleau, the young John Lavery painted an unknown woman reading in a hammock slung between trees close to the river. While the ‘lilies and languors’ of the Pre-Raphaelites were rigorously excluded from his work, the picture nevertheless captured that sense of dolce far niente, of beautiful youth and summer’s luxuriance.