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Sir John Lavery

An artist who spent his formative years living above a pawn shop in Saltcoats is the subject of a major exhibition at the town's North Ayrshire Museum until December.

Born in Belfast in 1856, Sir John Lavery was nine when his mother died and he was sent to live with relatives in Saltcoats. According to curator Mark Strachan, Lavery, who was painter to the royal family, had his first art lessons in Saltcoats but ran away to Glasgow in his teens, eventually becoming one of the foremost artists of his time.

Today, his paintings can sell for more than pound;1 million. The exhibition, which charts Lavery's life and work, and includes a study for one of his most famous pictures, "The Tennis Party", is complemented by portraiture workshops for schools.

T 01294 464174.

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