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Museum celebrates Belfast artist Sir John Lavery

By Staff Reporter

The Ulster Museum is celebrating the work of Belfast-born artist Sir John Lavery in a new exhibition titled Artist as Thief.

The new event, which opened yesterday, explores how Lavery was influenced by the Old Masters, with the title a reference to Picasso's alleged remark about his own re-working of ideas; "good artists copy, great artists steal".

The new exhibition is divided into three sections; Power, Family and Performance, reflecting Lavery's interests. His works sit alongside historic paintings from the Ulster Museum's collection including Thomas, Lord Coningsby 1656-1729 (1692) by Thomas Bate, The Greyhound (1910) and The Green Coat (1926) both by Sir John Lavery.

National Museums NI's Curator of Fine Art, Anne Stewart, said: "Sir John Lavery's success was due, in part, to the ideas and influences he adopted from the art of the past. In a sense, all art is connected and there is real benefit in considering art in its wider context of influence, and indeed artists in their wider context of influences. This exhibition seeks to do that and I hope visitors will enjoy the paintings of Sir John Lavery, which are already very familiar to local audiences juxtaposed to historic paintings from the Ulster Museum collection."

In 1929, Lavery donated 34 paintings, from all periods of his career, to what was then the newly-opened Belfast Museum and Art Gallery, now the Ulster Museum.

The Artist as Thief exhibition will run at the Ulster Orchestra until August 2018.

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