Sir William Orpen(1878-1931), Painter, Royal Academician
Sitter in 28 portraits
Artist associated with 29 portraits
Irish-born Orpen showed exceptional talent at a young age and went on to train at the Slade School of Art under Henry Tonks with Augustus John and Spencer Gore. He became one of the leading British war artists, capturing scenes from the Western Front and painting portraits of those serving there. He was knighted in 1918, the year he presented his war paintings to the British nation. He remained in France to create portraits of political and military leaders to mark the Versailles Peace Conference in Paris (1919), including A Peace Conference at the Quai d'Orsay and The Signing of the Peace in the Hall of Mirrors (Imperial War Museum). Following the war, he continued as a successful portrait painter.
Watch a film clip on the artist from the BBC Archive in the Media section below