by Sir William Orpen
pencil and wash, 1910
13 in. (330 mm) diameter
Given by Mrs C. Philippa Holliday (formerly Mrs A.W. Rich), 1933
Sitterback to top
- Sir William Orpen (1878-1931), Painter, Royal Academician. Sitter in 28 portraits, Artist associated with 29 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir William Orpen (1878-1931), Painter, Royal Academician. Artist associated with 29 portraits, Sitter in 28 portraits.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Rideal, Liz, Insights: Self-portraits, 2005, p. 25 Read entry
Orpen was an original, technically brilliant and successful artist from Ireland. In this self-portrait, the green suggests a bilious fragility and transparency. Between Orpen’s jawbone and his collar can be seen the hole left by the compass used to draw the circle. The work features a number of circles to connect the circular mirror conceit: this visual pun is reiterated as the artist reveals that he is working on the same picture that we are looking at – which in turn is the image he sees of himself in the mirror.
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 471
Events of 1910back to top
Current affairsGeorge V succeeds Edward VII to the throne.
The Liberals win narrow victories after calling two General Elections following escalating tension between the Liberal administration and the Lords reached crisis point with the Lords' unprecedented rejection of Lloyd George's 1909 budget. The budget included tax reform intended to fund social reform and a rearmament programme, but was seen by the Conservative Lords as an assault on property.