The Irish National Pilgrimage at Lough Derg, painted in Summer, 1929, is one of the works featured in an new exhibition at the Ulster Museum focusing on key locations in the art and life of Sir John Lavery.

The painting, entitled ‘St. Patrick’s Purgatory’ (1930), is a 58.5 x106.5cm oil on canvas that captures a scene that’s still enacted today, as the Lough Derg site attracts pilgrims from all across the island of Ireland and around the world, making a Christian pilgrimage that has been in place since the Fifth Century.

Born in Belfast, Sir Lavery was orphaned at three and then spent his early life with relatives near Moira and in Ayrshire.

In 1927, five years after the formation of the Irish Free State, he received a commission to paint his second wife, Chicago-born Hazel, as ‘Kathleen ni Houlihan’ – the personification of Ireland – in the design of new bank notes to replace Sterling.

‘St Patrick’s Purgatory’ is part of ‘Lavery on Location’, a major exhibition featuring more than 70 works on loan from various collections, organised in collaboration with the National Gallery of Ireland and National Galleries of Scotland.

Running at Ulster Museum until June 9, tickets can be booked at, and will be free if you book a Wednesday morning visit.