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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

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William Orpen, by Sir William Orpen - NPG 5267

William Orpen

by Sir William Orpen
pencil, circa 1898
NPG 5267

Augustus John, by Sir William Orpen - NPG 4252

Augustus John

by Sir William Orpen
oil on canvas, exhibited 1900
NPG 4252

Group associated with the New English Art Club, by Sir William Orpen - NPG 6345

Group associated with the New English Art Club

by Sir William Orpen
pencil, black chalk (or charcoal), pen, ink and watercolour, circa 1904
NPG 6345

William Orpen, by Sir William Orpen - NPG 2638

William Orpen

by Sir William Orpen
pencil and wash, 1910
NPG 2638

William Orpen, by Sir William Orpen - NPG 5982

William Orpen

by Sir William Orpen
oil on canvas, circa 1910
On display in Room 30 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 5982

Winston Churchill, by Sir William Orpen - NPG L250

Winston Churchill

by Sir William Orpen
oil on canvas, 1916
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG L250

Ganga Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner, by Sir William Orpen - NPG 4188

Ganga Singh, Maharaja of Bikaner

by Sir William Orpen
oil on canvas, 1919
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4188

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart, by Sir William Orpen - NPG 4651

Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart

by Sir William Orpen
oil on canvas, 1919
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG 4651

Media

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