Duke & Son /Sep 15, 2016
€3,597.76 - €5,996.27
Artworks in Arcadja454
Some works of William OrpenExtracted between 454 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Christie's -Jun 27, 2017 - LondonLot number: 108
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Sir William Orpen, R.A., R.H.A. (1878-1931) Study for Nude Pattern, The Holy Well signed 'ORPEN' (lower left) and inscribed 'Kneeling boy to cover/her back' (lower right) pencil, charcoal and watercolour 20 1/8 x 16 3/8 in. (51 x 41.6 cm.) Executed circa 1916. In the spring of 1916 Orpen dispatched his Nude Pattern, The Holy Well (National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin) to the New English Art Club. This large canvas depicting the ritual bathing of pilgrims at a Holy Well overlooking Faul Sound on the Aran Islands was the final painting in what has become known as his \\\‘Irish Trilogy\\\’. Containing twenty figures - men, women and children in various states of undress - it is arguably the most complex of the three. The others are Sowing New Seed for the Board of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland, 1912 (Mildura Art Centre, Victoria, Australia) and A Western Wedding, 1915 (formerly Matsukata Collection, destroyed in the Bourlet fire, 1939). Its exhibition, coinciding with the Easter Rising and within weeks of the slaughter of Irish regiments in the Somme offensive, adds immeasurably to its significance. Letters referring to the evolution of this ambitious composition with thumbnail sketches are contained in the National Gallery of Ireland. It developed from swift graphite studies of individual figures and these were followed by a series of highly finished, tinted, \\\‘stand-alone\\\’ drawings, of which the present example is one of the largest and most complete. This particular figure appears at the lower right of the composition in Nude Pattern, The Holy Well, 1916. These were then manoeuvred into position in the whole, in a procedure that echoes that of great 19th Century French muralists such as Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. Thus the note – \\\‘Kneeling boy to cover/her back' – in the present drawing refers to A Kneeling Boy pulling off his Shirt, 1915 (private collection), and locates the figure precisely in the ensemble. P.G. Konody indicates that some seventeen of these \\\‘finished\\\’ studies were acquired by Mrs Evelyn St George with the large picture, to hang at her London residence, Cam House, Campden Hill, W.8 (P.G. Konody and S. Dark, Sir William Orpen, Artist and Man, London, 1932, p. 169. These drawings then subsequently appeared at her sale at Sotheby\\\’s, 26 July 1939). They functioned as a kind of \\\‘key\\\’ to the painting. In the present instance the motif – that of a nude girl, hair unclasped, donning a black stocking – was one that Orpen would return to some six years later. (Since her companion is evidently drying his face, we may assume that both figures have already been baptised). When he had completed his Official War Artist and Versailles Peace Conference commissions for the Imperial War Museum in 1921, one of his first tasks was to paint a formidable series of nude studies, one of which, Nude Girl Reading (private collection) shows his model, Yvonne Aubicq, in a similar pose. In this later work, the young woman pauses to read and her stocking is white. We are very grateful to Professor Kenneth Mc Conkey for preparing this catalogue entry.
Auction: Whyte's -May 29, 2017 - DublinLot number: 20
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Lot 20: Sir William Orpen RA RI RHA (1878-1931) PORTRAIT OF LEE HANKEY Description: signed lower left; with typed Southgate Gallery label on reverse Dimensions: h:8 w:6in. Medium: pencil Provenance: Southgate Gallery, Wolverhampton; Private collection Notes: An impromptu sketch at a dinner party, drawn on the reverse of a dinner menu. William Lee Hankey (1869–1952) RWS RI ROI RE NS was a British painter and book illustrator. He specialised in landscapes, character studies and portraits of pastoral life, particularly in studies of mothers with young children. Hankey's black and white and coloured etchings of the people of Étaples, gained him a reputation as 'one of the most gifted of the figurative printmakers working in original drypoint during the first thirty years of the 20th century'
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Sir William Newenham Montague Orpen, KBE, RA, RHA The Rushbury (1878-1931) Pen and black ink Signed and dated 1924 , upper right 15.5 x 15cm (6 1/8 x 5 7/8 in.) Caricature sketch of the Mevagissey Duck, inscribed 'To "The Bird's Friend" from one who loves "them"', titled below the image and further inscribed 'My lad, You know the Rest!!'. With two contemporary newspaper cuttings explaining the origins of the Mevagissey Duck inset in the mount below. The sketch depicts a duck flying backwards to keep the dust out of its eyes, corresponding to the old naval expression recounted by Admiral R.H. Bacon in his letter to the newspaper on the subject. The other published letter gives the alternative Cornish tradition of it being another name for salted pilchards as a staple winter food. Condition report: Slight browning.
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SIR WILLIAM ORPEN (1878-1931) A profile portrait of a young man, signed lower right, charcoal, 14.25" x 9.75". Provenance: With a letter stating that this work was gifted from Orpen to the mother of the current owner, whilst studying together at The Metropolitan School of Art, Dublin, in around 1894. Private collection, Wareham.
Auction: Sotheby's -Sep 13, 2016 - LondonLot number: 7
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Sir William Orpen, R.W.S., N.E.A.C., R.A., R.H.A. 1878-1931 THE FIDDLER signed l.r.: ORPEN pencil and watercolour 67.5 by 47cm., 26¾ by 18½in. Read Condition Report Read Condition Report Register or Log-in to view condition report Or Saleroom Notice Provenance Laurence Bradbury Esq. by 1923;Agnew & Sons, London, where purchased by the father of the present owner in 1965Exhibited London, Agnew & Sons, June 1965, no.76Literature Anon, Figure Painting in Watercolours by Contemporary British Artists, 1923, (The Studio, ‘Special Number’’’’’’’’), illus.;‘Art Publications’’’’’’’’, The Scotsman, 11 June 1923, p.2;J.B. Manson, ‘Some Drawings by Sir William Orpen’’’’’’’’, The Studio, vol. 86, October 1923, opp. p.183, illus. as frontispiece Catalogue Note In December 1914, as it became clear that prophecies of a swift end to the war in Europe would not be realized, William Orpen exhibited his large allegorical work The Western Wedding, (fig. 1), at the New English Art Club. It was the second in his ‘Irish trilogy’’’’’’’’.1Unflattering comparisons were made with Piero della Francesca’’’’’’’’s Nativity and this ‘curious scene’’’’’’’’ of an open air West of Ireland wedding was considered indecipherable.2 ‘To judge by appearances’’’’’’’’ said one critic,… the priest and the fiddler standing on the opposite sides of a gigantic crucifix are discoursing simultaneously while guests are scattered promiscuously with no great interest in the ceremony.3Orpen’’’’’’’’s message was not a simple one, mixing western peasant rusticity and catholic piety with memories of the plays of Synge in the tangle of Irish cultural revival. For many the picture was simply disjointed and its significance is made more difficult to unravel because it perished in a fire while in storage. A fully worked up compositional study, given to Thomas Bodkin and passed to his daughter, is also lost. What remains is a series of drawings that relate to the figure groups – the central one comprising the barefoot fiddler with his vagabond family. While other spectators at this strange event seem oddly disengaged, the musician, probably modelled by Sean Keating, faces the priest as he confers his blessing, perhaps waiting for a signal to continue playing. Whatever we may think of the ‘Wedding’’’’’’’’ ensemble, the parts are supremely eloquent. Orpen’’’’’’’’s draughtsmanship was hailed by contemporaries, one describing the line in works like the present drawing, as ‘clear, firm and vivid’’’’’’’’. As in his earlier Caravaggesque crayon studies (see lot 5), so confident was his handling of the medium that a single contour, placed with the precision of silverpoint, was sufficient to convey all he needed to say about space and form. CH Collins Baker accounted for this change of emphasis as a move towards modernism – ‘Perhaps the recent exhibition of the so-called Post-Impressionists may have suggested something to him’’’’’’’’, he mused.4 Comparisons were invoked by others with great draughtsmen of the past – Ingres and Leonardo. So prized were the drawings of this period that the Chenil Gallery produced an expensive portfolio of facsimilies accompanied by a booklet of enthusiastic encomia. By the twenties, in a more uncertain world, James Bolivar Manson in his brief critical survey of Orpen’’’’’’’’s drawings declared that The Fiddler,… has charm; the subject is delightful; the naïve expression on the kneeling boy’’’’’’’’s face is very sweet; but it is not impulsive; it is a careful drawing and a careful draughtsman (I mean a consciously careful one) is a little like a painstaking comedian.5The pedantic Manson, a minor Impressionist painter, now working as a Tate Gallery curator, may well have been aware of Orpen’’’’’’’’s legendary humour. What he evidently did not appreciate was the spontaneity and schooled intuition that arose from in-depth study and long experience. Drawing, according to PG Konody was a ‘veritable passion’’’’’’’’.6 Orpen drew instinctively, incessantly and without licence. As his letters attest, he thought, first and foremost, visually. And when we look at the glorious Fiddler, little else matters. Kenneth McConkey Orpen’’’’’’’’s so-called ‘Irish Trilogy’’’’’’’’ consisted of Sowing New Seed …, 1913 (Mildura Art Centre, Australia) and Nude Pattern, The Holy Well, 1916 (National Gallery of Ireland), in addition to The Western Wedding.  C.H. Collins Baker, ‘Ways of Seeing Things’’’’’’’’, The Saturday Review, 12 December 1914, p.603. ‘Our Private Correspondence’’’’’’’’, The Scotsman, 2 December 1914, p.7. C.H. Collins Baker, ‘The Paintings of William Orpen ARA, RHA’’’’’’’’, The Studio, vol LII, 1911, p.260. J.B. Manson, ‘Some Drawings by Sir William Orpen’’’’’’’’, The Studio, vol LXXXVI, 1923, p.189. P.G. Konody, ‘The Sketch Books of Sir William Orpen’’’’’’’’, The Studio, vol CIV, 1932, p.309. Fig. 1 William Orpen, The Western Wedding (formely Matsukata Collection, destroyed) See MoreSee Less Suggested Lots JUMP TO LOT Irish Art Lot No. Invalid Now Irish Art 13 September 2016 | 2:30 PM BSTLondon Buy Catalogue Contact Info Contact Info Charlie Minter Deputy Director