12 Works, January 4th is Augustus Edwin John’s day, #004

Augustus John OM 1878–1961
Lyric Fantasy, c.1913–14

Oil paint and graphite on canvas
2380 × 4720 mm

This is one of four murals commissioned in 1909 to decorate the hall of the house in Chelsea. John designed the composition using his own family and friends as models, including at the right his wife Ida, who had recently died. It was painted from a full size drawing. John then painted out a figure at the centre, and suggested alterations to compensate.

Lyric Fantasy was not displayed, nor given its title, until 1940. John devoted his early career to these decorative murals, which he based on drawings and colour sketches. More on this work

Augustus Edwin John OM RA (4 January 1878–31 October 1961) was a Welsh painter, draughtsman, and etcher. For a time he was considered the most important artist at work in Britain.

At the age of seventeen he briefly attended the Tenby School of Art, then left Wales for London, studying at the Slade School of Art, University College London. He became the star pupil, and even before his graduation he was considered the most talented draughtsman of his generation…

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