Celebrated for his career as an official war artist, the Irish-born painter Sir William Orpen KBE RA (1878 – 1931) is best known for his rapid and expressive painting style. President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters from 1924 – 1930, Orpen became one of the leading portraitists of his age.
Featuring a selection of striking portraits alongside closely observed pencil studies and anatomical drawings, this exhibition provides new insights into Orpen’s evolving and innovative artistic process, underpinned by new research and technical analysis of his techniques and materials.
Inspired by the perceptible significance of artist studios, this exhibition will situate Orpen’s work within the evocative space of ‘Oriel’, William Orpen’s studio at South Bolton Gardens, London. In an examination of Orpen’s evolving and experimental artistic practice, this exhibition will re-examine his fascination with light and space throughout his career.