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Slade School country picnic

5 of 28 portraits of Sir William Orpen

Slade School country picnic, by Unknown photographer, April 1899 - NPG x38484 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Slade School country picnic

by Unknown photographer
vintage bromide print, April 1899
6 3/4 in. x 10 in. (173 mm x 255 mm)
Purchased, 2004
Photographs Collection
NPG x38484

Artistback to top

Sittersback to top

  • Lady Edna Clarke Hall (1879-1979), Artist; wife of Sir William Clarke Hall; daughter of Benjamin Waugh. Sitter in 4 portraits, Artist of 2 portraits.
  • Augustus Edwin John (1878-1961), Painter. Sitter in 103 portraits, Artist associated with 33 portraits.
  • Gwendolen Mary ('Gwen') John (1876-1939), Painter; sister of Augustus John. Sitter in 3 portraits, Artist of 1 portrait.
  • Sir William Orpen (1878-1931), Painter, Royal Acadamian. Sitter in 28 portraits, Artist associated with 29 portraits.
  • Alice Mary (née Knewstub), Lady Rothenstein (1867-1957), Actress; wife of Sir William Rothenstein; daughter of Walter John Knewstub. Sitter in 3 portraits.
  • Sir William Rothenstein (1872-1945), Artist and teacher of art. Sitter in 24 portraits, Artist associated with 221 portraits.
  • Albert Rutherston (1881-1953), Artist. Sitter in 1 portrait, Artist of 2 portraits.

This portraitback to top

In 1894 John entered the Slade School, London, where he was joined the following year by his sister, Gwen John. During his second year he transformed himself from a neat, methodical student to a wild, anarchical figure. His exceptional talent was recognised and he won the Slade Prize with Moses and the Brazen Serpent, 1898. This photograph records a country picnic arranged by Augustus John's landlady Mrs Everett. John sits on a horse at the centre of the scene alongside William Orpen, with whom John would found the Chelsea Art School in 1903.

Linked publicationsback to top

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1899back to top

Current affairs

George Nathaniel Curzon, Lord Curzon, is appointed Viceroy of India, pursuing a mixed policy of forceful control and conciliation. Curzon's inquiries into Indian administration result in legislation in areas including education, irrigation, and policing. The Board of Education is created to co-ordinate the work of higher grade elementary schools, county technical schools and endowed grammar schools, also setting up a register of teachers.

Art and science

The Italian Guglielmo Marconi transmits the first wireless telegraph, between France and England across the English Channel, a distance of 32 miles. Marconi's production of waves over long distances lays the foundations for the development of the radio. Later this year, Marconi demonstrates his invention in America, at the Cup yacht race, and for the American navy.


Outbreak of the second Boer war, fought between the British Empire and the two independent Boer Republics of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. Despite a disastrous start, Britain quickly won the war, although guerilla warfare continued until 1902, leading to the introduction of concentration camps by British commander Lord Kitchener, a measure which contributes to the British public's growing disillusionment with the campaign.

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