The Dentist by Sir John Lavery

This painting is a rare depiction of a fashionable dental practice in the 1930s.


Oil on canvas
99.5 x 76 cm
Art Fund grant:
£15,000 ( Total: £60,000)
Acquired in:
Private collector

Instead of showing the opulence of the room, Lavery chooses to focus on the details of the dentist and patient making an accurate recording of the scene. The most prominent feature is the x-ray machine; radiography was still in its relative infancy at this time and the x-ray machine shown was a new and expensive piece of equipment. The dentist depicted, Conrad Ackner, was appointed as the first dental radiographer to Guy’s Hospital in 1913. Lavery had no fear of the clinical environment and had been an official War artist during the First World War.


Gift from the artist to Conrad; descendants of the Ackner Family.

Venue details

BDA Dental Museum British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, LONDON London W1G 8YS 020 7563 4549

Entry details

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