Sunbathers (1936). Sir John Lavery (1856-1941).
At age 80, Lavery painted his granddaughter Diana and model Lillian Millar in Palm Springs. Looking down on them, Lavery faced the task of painting foreshortened figures. He originally included himself in the upper portion of the composition, engaged in painting a more orthodox view.
When the picture was first exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Times was preoccupied with the fact that Lavery had forsaken ‘the furs and rich fabrics’ of his usual portraiture for ‘a more carefree attitude to dress.’ The incongruity of Lillian’s spotted shorts and high-heeled red evening shoes was noted.