William Orpen

(18781931 ) - Artworks Wikipedia® - William Orpen
ORPEN William Peace Perfect Peace - Sleepy Dog

Bonhams /Jun 3, 2014
1,852.08 - 2,469.44
2,152.67

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Artworks in Arcadja
379

Some works of William Orpen

Extracted between 379 works in the catalog of Arcadja
William Orpen - Portrait Of Vivien St George

William Orpen - Portrait Of Vivien St George

Original 1918
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Lot number: 106
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Sir William Orpen, R.W.S., N.E.A.C., R.A., R.H.A. 1878-1931 PORTRAIT OF VIVIEN ST GEORGE signed l.l.: ORPEN oil on canvas 86.5 by 62cm., 34 by 24½in. Read Condition Report Read Condition Report Register or Log-in to view condition report Saleroom Notice Provenance Mrs Evelyn St George, thence by descent to the present owner Catalogue Note The present work, painted in 1918, is the only known portrait by Orpen of Vivien, his daughter who resulted from his love affair with Mrs Evelyn St George. She is depicted aged six in a green bridesmaid dress for the wedding of her half-sister, Gardenia St George. It was painted during a brief interlude when Orpen had returned to London from his official duties as a war artist for his exhibition War, held at Agnew’’s in May 1918. By the beginning of July, Orpen was back on the Western Front. Orpen’’s affair with Evelyn St George is well-documented, and was certainly the subject of social gossip at the time. Evelyn was a wealthy American, the eldest child of George Fisher Baker, founder and President of the First National Bank of America. Against her father’’s wishes, Evelyn married Howard St George, an Irish land agent from County Kilkenny, in 1891. They moved to Clonsilla Lodge, off Phoenix Park, Dublin in 1905 after which the St Georges were shortly introduced to Orpen. Eight years older than Orpen, and a foot taller, they made a visually odd couple (a fact which delighted Orpen’’s humour, recorded in a number of witty sketches), yet there is no doubt of their genuine affection for one another. The love affair began in 1908, and resulted in a series of remarkable paintings by Orpen, his talents enthusiastically encouraged by Evelyn. Most famously are the full-length ‘swagger’’ portraits of Evelyn herself, such as Mrs St George (sold in these rooms, 16 May 2003, lot 57 for £924,000). Evelyn also commissioned Orpen to paint her third child, and at this time only daughter, Gardenia, over a number of years from 1906, including the magnificent Portrait of Gardenia St George with Riding Crop, (sold in these rooms 19 May 2001, lot 92 for £1,983,500). With her red hair and pointed chin Vivien was, as Bruce Arnold wrote, ‘an Orpen’’ (Orpen, Mirror to an Age, 1981, p.242). Despite the circumstances of her parents, she enjoyed a close relationship with her father, who remained friendly with her and Evelyn long after their love affair. In her memoir to her mother, A Mirror for Mama, Vivien wrote with obvious adoration for Orpen, and the many affectionate sketches that exist of her by Orpen reciprocate the feeling. Gardenia St George, later Lady Gunston, claimed too that, ‘without any doubt she was Orpen’’s child’’ (Bruce Arnold, op. cit.,p.242), and one gains that sense in the tender portrayal of the present work. See More See Less
William Orpen - Artist Playing Billiards At Paultons, Romsey, Hampshire

William Orpen - Artist Playing Billiards At Paultons, Romsey, Hampshire

Original
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Lot number: 21
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Description: Sir William Orpen RA RI RHA (1878-1931) ARTIST PLAYING BILLIARDS AT PAULTONS, ROMSEY, HAMPSHIRE ink h:6 w:9.30 in. Kindly donated by Richard Olivier, grandson of William Orpen. The William Orpen Memorial Fund Local photographer Dominic Lee of Priory Studios has always been an admirer of the work of William Orpen. In 2012 he persuaded the Stillorgan Village Shopping Centre to exhibit a permanent display of Orpen's paintings and to rename the first floor "Orpen Mall". Mr Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for the Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht officially opened the exhibition at which Dominic announced part two of his plan - to have a sculpture of William Orpen erected in Stillorgan. William Orpen was born in Oriel Lodge, Grove Avenue, Stillorgan in 1878. At the age of 12 he attended the Metropolitian School of Art (now the National College of Art & Design) and later attended the Slade Art College in London. He became a very successful society portrait painter and returned to Dublin regularly to teach in his old college. He was involved in the "Celtic revival" in Ireland and took part in the attempt there to find a visual counterpart to the birth of new national literary language. Although his studio was in London, he spent time in Ireland painting, he was a friend of Hugh Lane and influenced the Irish realist painters, like Sean Keating, who in turn influenced another generation of Irish painters. He was appointed a War Artist in 1914 and knighted for his services. Rowan Gillespie, renowned sculptor, from neigbouring Blackrock, has been commissioned to create the memorial. Donations may be made to: The Stillorgan Chamber of Commerce - Orpen Fund,12 Lower Kilmacud Road, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, or to www.iDonate.ie/WilliamOrpen The proceeds of this lot will go to the William Orpen Memorial Fund.
William Orpen - The Master Of Those That Know

William Orpen - The Master Of Those That Know

Original -
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Lot number: 94
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Description: Sir William Orpen RHA RA RI (1878-1931) The Master of those that Know Pencil on paper, 18 x 22.5cm (7 x 9'') Drawn on the notepaper of Oliver St. John Gogarty and from his collection This is a portrait of Henry Stuart McCran (Professor of Moral Philosophy, T.C.D.) Literature: Oliver St. John Gogarty, As I was going down Sackville Street, New York edition, illustrated facing page 334 (photostat verso)
William Orpen - Peace Perfect Peace - Sleepy Dog

William Orpen - Peace Perfect Peace - Sleepy Dog

Original 1930
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Lot number: 90
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Sir William Orpen, R.A., H.R.H.A. (British, 1878-1931) 'Peace perfect peace - sleepy dog' inscribed, signed and dated 'ORPEN/1930' (lower right), pencil 24 x 32.5cm (9 7/16 x 12 13/16in). together with another work by the same hand titled 'Very sick' (2) Footnotes We are grateful to Mr Chris Pearson for his assistance in cataloguing this lot
William Orpen - Still Life, Pottery Figure Of The Chinese War God Kuan-ti, And A Crystal Ball

William Orpen - Still Life, Pottery Figure Of The Chinese War God Kuan-ti, And A Crystal Ball

Original
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Lot number: 44
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Sir William Orpen, R.A., H.R.H.A. (British, 1878-1931) Still life, pottery figure of the Chinese war god Kuan-Ti, and a crystal ball signed with cipher (lower right) oil on canvas 76.8 x 63.6 cm. (30 1/4 x 25 1/8 in.) Footnotes Provenance Mrs Evelyn St. George Her sale; Sotheby's, London, 26 July 1939, where acquired by Geoffrey Hutchinson, later Baron Ilford Private Collection U.K. Although occasionally fractious, William Orpen's friendship with Hugh Lane was highly influential. The magpie collector, prior to his move to Lindsey House in Chelsea at the end of 1909 had stored his possessions at Orpen's studio in South Bolton Gardens, Kensington, much to his friend's irritation, and this included oriental ceramics, assorted statuary and objects d'art , as well as pictures. The Old Master dealer was no expert in Chinese and Japanese vases and figurines, but he amassed these for their decorative appeal and, regardless of their age or worth, would sometimes give choice pieces away to friends if they particularly admired them. When he finally moved they formed a guard of honour for guests in the hallway of his 'veritable museum'. As Thomas Bodkin recalled, 'one passed between a double rank of stone Ming statues of Chinese Immortals, ranged across a black and white chequered marble floor'. As their temporary custodian up to this point, the artist could pick and choose from these objects and in a number of notable instances, they made their way into his paintings. One example is likely to be the colourful pottery figure of Kuan-Ti, more familiarly known as Guan Yu, the Chinese God of War, the subject of the present canvas. Unlike his other still-life paintings depicting blanc-de-chine deities, this bold polychrome figure prompted a decorative approach which is emphasised in the painted zig-zag frame which encloses the composition. It is a predecessor of the ornate mirror frames that Orpen frequently included in later self-portraits. The statuette itself is loosely painted with slashes of emerald, cobalt and red oxide that accentuate its dramatic character. Kuan-Ti is traditionally presented in an aggressive pose, with flowing beard and frowning red face. Where Orpen might adopt a suave, studied approach to the milk white Dehua porcelain of a Guan Yin goddess, this threatening warrior demanded a vigorous handling that contrasts with the precision of the crystal globe that lies at his feet. Kuan-Ti (162-219 AD) was a character of history and myth. Prior to his deification, he was a famous general during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms era of China (206 BC - 220 AD). A mighty warrior of great renown, he was the brother of the first emperor, Liu Bei, of the Kingdom of Shu, and played a significant role of establishing his reign. His exploits were later romanticised in fables and popular drama during the Ming dynasty, especially in the Sanguo Yanyi , or " Romance of the Three Kingdoms ", in which he is portrayed as a sort of Chinese Robin Hood. Kuan-Ti remains respected as the epitome of loyalty, moral qualities and righteousness by Chinese people today and modern statues abound. In order to accentuate its oriental and decorative lineage, Orpen has signed the present picture in an unusual way with a monogram formed from his initials. Giving the impression of a chinese 'chop' or stamp, its use by Orpen is rare, but not unique. It appears for instance in an illustrated letter dated 18 January 1908, congratulating Lane on the opening of the Municipal Gallery of Modern Art in Dublin, which now bears his name. The appearance of the cipher on both a letter to Lane and the present work may be more than mere coincidence as it tends to confirm our supposition that the pottery figure belonged to the collector. It may even give a vital clue to the approximate date of the present work. If this striking artefact, along with the other porcelain figurines found in Orpen's still life paintings after 1906 are likely to have been part of Lane's miscellany, it must also be recognised that the painter's consciousness of the art of the Orient probably predates his friendship with the collector and was in place prior to the establishment of the 'Oriel' studio in the 'Boltons'. The first blanc-de-chine figure for instance, seen in juxtaposition with a Japanese doll in Reflections, China and Japan , (1902-3, Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane) Orpen's first important still-life, shown at the New English Art Club in 1903, is likely to have been prompted by his brother-in-law, William Rothenstein. A similar porcelain figurine returns around 1907 in the magisterial Still Life, Blanc-de-Chine Figure (1907, Private Collection), one of a small sequence of still life paintings produced in rapport with those of William Nicholson, with whom Orpen shared a studio. Here the object is moved to a central position and placed on a stand against a dark background, as though demanding an act of worship. The present bold multi-coloured statuette, similarly placed, coming probably at the end of the series, poses a different, more complex challenge, with a different derivation. In 1905, the Scots painter, John Duncan Fergusson staged his first solo exhibition at the Baillie Gallery, and among the exhibits was a canvas depicting a polychrome Japanese Statuette (1903, Perth and Kinross Council). This picture, reproduced in The Studio in 1907, was freely painted in a manner that anticipates Fergusson's later experiments with 'Fauve' colour. Its confident handling would have impressed Orpen, an artist whose eye was tuned and receptive to qualities found in the work of others and it is unlikely that he would not at least have seen the picture in reproduction. If Orpen's expressive handling derived in part from an awareness of the work of the Scots painter, its development was undoubtedly encouraged by the painting's first owner, Mrs Florence Evelyn St George. Daughter of "The Sphinx of Wall Street", George F. Baker, the celebrated New York banker, Mrs St George was married to a distant cousin of Orpen's. From 1908 until the onset of war in 1914, the two were in close contact, she acting as patron, procurer of commissions and general advisor. It was with her encouragement that the artist began to embrace the bravura of the present Still Life. His regular summer holidays at Howth among his adoring Dublin students after 1909 inevitably involved visits to Mrs St George's villa near Galway. On one occasion in 1912 he illustrated a letter to her showing the Chinese war god with arms raised, wielding a sword (Private Collection) and asking her to 'forgive the drawing as usual it shows nothing of the beauty of the original'. The extended Irish sojourns and intense discussion on artistic matters inevitably boosted his confidence and carried Orpen forward to the remarkable 'Irish trilogy' and landscapes of the Western Front. We may even recall this warrior god as we study the Aran Islander guarding the 'Holy Well' in the Orpen's most complex allegory. Searching the glazed surfaces of this ancient figure around 1908, Orpen was reaching back into the art of the past and to an exotic culture – one that was barely understood in Britain at the time. As the Opium Wars became a distant memory, travellers noted that China was opening up to the West, and with this came dismay that 'Chinese beauty' was made to co-exist with 'western ugliness'. The trade in Chinese artefacts begun in the seventeenth century, gathered pace in the Edwardian years. Great collections were formed and bequeathed to British museums, but few viewed these trophies with greater curiosity than the Irish painter who placed the stoneware War God statuette in front of a blue-black curtain and painted its portrait. We are grateful to Christopher Pearson of The Orpen Research Project and Professor Kenneth McConkey for compiling this catalogue entry.
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