Lady Hazel <I>Martyn</I> Lavery

Lady Hazel Martyn Lavery

Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA
Death 1 Jan 1935 (aged 54)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Wimbledon, London Borough of Merton, Greater London, England
Plot AS
Memorial ID 6532987 · View Source
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Artist, Model, Art Teacher. She was the daughter of a Chicago industrialist of Irish descent. In 1904, she was on holiday in Brittany, where she met John Lavery a widower for thirteen years and thirty years her senior. At the time, Hazel was engaged to a Canadian doctor; they were married and he died five months later. In 1910, she married Lavery, becoming Lady Lavery in 1918 when he received his knighthood. Hazel was engaged to a Canadian doctor, who died shortly after their marriage; and, in 1910, she married John, becoming Lady Lavery in 1918 when he received his knighthood. Apart from her own paintings, she is noted for two facts. Firstly, in 1922, the Laverys lent their house at 5 Cromwell Place in South Kensington to Michael Collins and the Irish delegation in the negotiations which led to the founding of the Free State, and the new Dublin Government arranged for Sir John to paint his wife as the legendary heroine Cathleen ni Houlihan. Until well into the 1970's, this picture was used on the Irish pound note, and remained as the watermark until 2002, when the Republic joined the European Single Currency. Secondly, Lady Lavery was responsible for Churchill taking up painting. After the failure of the Dardanelles Campaign in May 1915, Sir Winston resigned from the Admiralty and had plenty of time on his hands, and purchased some oil paints, an easel and a canvas, but was uncertain of beginning this new hobby. By chance, "the gifted wife of Sir John Lavery" chose this moment to visit Churchill. '"What are you hesitating about? Let me have a brush, the big one". Several large, fierce strokes and slashes on the absolutely cowering canvas. Anyone could see that it could not hit back. The spell was broken. The sickly inhibitions rolled away. I seized the largest brush and fell upon my victim with berserk fury. I have never felt in awe of any canvas since." (From the essay, "Painting as a Pastime", found in Churchill's book, "Thoughts and Adventures".)

Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
  • Added: 21 Jun 2002
  • Find a Grave Memorial 6532987
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lady Hazel Martyn Lavery (14 Mar 1880–1 Jan 1935), Find a Grave Memorial no. 6532987, citing Putney Vale Cemetery and Crematorium, Wimbledon, London Borough of Merton, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .