Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Posted below is a self portrait by the Irish artist Sir William Orpen. Orpen was born in Ireland in 1878 and attended the Metropolitan School of art when aged thirteen.

Known as a painter of society portraits Orpen was also an official war artist for the British government and went to the Western Front in 1916. For his efforts he received a Knighthood in 1918.

The aftermath of the war and the treaty negotiations at Versailles left Orpen bitter and broken and by the 1920’s he was burnt out.

Sir William Orpen died in England in 1931.

An exhibition of Orpen’s work entitled “Politics, Sex and Death” is currently on display in the National Gallery of Ireland. Admission price is €10.

On a personal note: perhaps €10 is a bit dear. But you will get to see “Ready to Start” as well as “A Breezy Day, Howth” with the figure of a woman who reminds me of a lost love, sigh.

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