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John James Gilroy

(Whitley Bay 1898-1985 Guildford)


Sussex, c.1930  *SOLD*


oil on board

inscribed verso ‘”Sussex”/ John James Gilroy/6, Avenue Studios/ Sydney Close/ SW3’

50 x 60 cm.

in its original gilded ripple frame from The Rowley Gallery


An alumnus of Durham University, Gilroy’s studies were cut short by WWI, during which he served with the Royal Field Artillery. He resumed his studies after the War at the Royal College of Art, where he would stay on as a teacher, and later teaching at Camberwell College of Arts.

Although primarily a portraitist and landscape artist, he is best known for his advertising posters, notably the iconic Guinness ad, featuring a zoo keeper and his animals enjoying Guinness. In 1924 he married the artist Gwendoline Short, and it’s likely this painting dates to a period fairly early on in their marriage, when the artists were working from a studio in Sydney Close, Chelsea. Gilroy later took a studio at 10 Holland Park, the former home and studio of Sir Bernard Partridge. He was a long-standing member of the Garrick Club, where he was created a life member and Chairman of the Works of Art Committee, 1970-1975. He became a Freeman of the City of London in 1981.

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