Cartoon for 'The Conversion of Lydia of Thyatira'

WAG 9716


This is a cartoon for Halliday's 'The Conversion of Lydia of Thyatira'. The finished painting shows St Paul, accompanied by Silas, converting Lydia, a seller of purple cloth, of the city of Thyatira. St Lydia was the Patron Saint of Dyers (those whose work involves dying cloth). The painting is now in the Victoria Art Gallery and Museum's collection (University of Liverpool). 'The Conversion of Lydia of Thyatira' was commissioned by the Liverpool businessman Sir Benjamin Johnson (died 1937) who was the head of the dyeing firm Messers Johnson Brothers (later known as Johnson's Dry Cleaners), originally founded by his father. Johnson joined Liverpool City Council when he was 25 and became mayor of Liverpool and later High Sheriff of Lancashire. He was also president of the Athenaeum between 1928-29 and he commissioned three other paintings by Halliday about the same time. The panel originally hung in the Dye Works offices in Bootle.