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Sir William Quiller Orchardson

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Sir William Quiller Orchardson

by Sir Leslie Ward
Pencil and watercolour on blue paper, published in Vanity Fair 24 March 1898
13 7/8 in. x 8 1/4 in. (352 mm x 210 mm)
NPG 5005

Inscriptionback to top

Signed in pencil lower right: ‘Spy’.
Printed label pasted to back of mount: ‘March 24th, 1898 / MR WILLIAM QUILLER ORCHARDSON, RA / (Original Drawing)’.

This portraitback to top

Orchardson’s somewhat belated inclusion in the Vanity Fair sequence ‘Men of the Day’ was perhaps prompted by his election in 1897 as master of the Society of Portrait Painters, and by his commission for a group portrait of four generations of the royal family (NPG 4536).

The lithograph reproduction, which closely follows the drawing while giving the garments a slightly darker brown tone, was entitled ‘Artist and R.A’, while the accompanying text gave a brief account of his career, stressing also his liking for sports and domestic life. It concludes:

Though he is an artist he never smokes; yet he is an all-round sportsman who can play billiards. He loves beautiful things; but takes no interest in his dress. In spite of his Scotch birth he has a sense of humour, and though he is a good talker he seldom speaks of himself or his art. He is now hard at work upon his picture of ‘Four Generations.’ [1]

Dr Jan Marsh

Footnotesback to top

1) ‘Jehu Junior’ [T.G. Bowles], Vanity Fair, 24 Mar. 1898, p.195. For copies of the chromolithograph, see bound issues of Vanity Fair in NPG; and MEPL, London, 100358355.

Physical descriptionback to top

Whole-length, to front, standing, hands in pockets, dark hair, grey moustache, wearing brown suit and pale grey tie with ring.

Provenanceback to top

Sold Christie’s, 10 Oct. 1974 (3) whence purchased.

Reproductionsback to top

Copies of the print after NPG 5005
Chromolithograph by Vincent Brooks, Day & Son, Vanity Fair, 24 March 1898; copy NPG D44900.

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