This watercolour painting by John Lavery showing a woman riding a tricycle also includes the gate and lodge of Cartbank on Netherlee Road, Glasgow, a small Georgian villa, built in c.1770. Cartbank was the family home of Lavery’s friend, the painter Alexander MacBride. MacBride had established a tennis court in the grounds of the house and it was here that Lavery watched tennis matches in the summer of 1885, resulting in his series of paintings of the sport.
The first commercial manufacture of bicycles was in Paris, when Pierre and Ernest Michaux produced two machines in 1861, 140 in 1862 and over 400 annually by 1865. By 1880 there were approximately 230 cycle clubs in the UK, around 70 of which were in London. The ‘Ordinary’, or penny farthing, developed into safety bicycles and tricycles like the example seen here, which first appeared in 1879. These were steadily improved in design until about 1890, when the earliest examples of the form of bicycle we know today were manufactured.
John Lavery, son of a Belfast publican, was orphaned at a young age. He lived with relatives and was apprenticed to a Belfast photographer, but later enrolled at the Haldane Academy, Glasgow. After his Glasgow studio burnt down, insurance money funded his studies at Heatherley’s in London and the Atelier Julian, Paris. He later worked at Grez-sur-Loing, where he helped form the Glasgow Boys. From 1885, he painted middle-class leisure pursuits and his later career was as a royal portraitist. In 1890 he married Kathleen McDermott, who died after giving birth to daughter, Eileen. In 1904 he married American Hazel Martyn, but both Hazel and Eileen died in 1935. Lavery then moved to Hollywood to paint celebrities, before retiring to Ireland.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.