SIR WILLIAM ORPEN, R.W.S., N.E.A.C., R.A., R.H.A. | THE WINDOW: NIGHT
80,000 - 120,000 GBP
Property from the Collection of Sir Michael Smurfit
SIR WILLIAM ORPEN, R.W.S., N.E.A.C., R.A., R.H.A.
THE WINDOW: NIGHT
signed l.r.: ORPEN
oil on canvas
107 by 79cm., 42 by 31in.
Painted circa 1907.
The following condition report has been prepared by Hamish Dewar Ltd:
UNCONDITIONAL AND WITHOUT PREJUDICE
The canvas is unlined and is securely stretched onto what is evidently the original keyed wooden stretcher. There are small canvas patches and canvas-maker's stamps on the reverse of the canvas. The overall structural condition appears to be good.
The paint surface has a discoloured and opaque varnish layer and would undoubtedly respond very well to cleaning, giving far greater depth and clarity to the composition. There is an overall pattern of lines of drying craquelure which are extensive. These could be considerably reduced with very fine lines of carefully applied inpainting if required, and while this would obviously necessitate a considerable amount of work, I would be confident this would significantly reduce the visual effect of the craquelure. It should be noted that the craquelure is stable and is as a result of the natural drying processes of the artist's materials.
Inspection under ultraviolet light confirms how discoloured the varnish layers have become and how well the painting should respond to cleaning. Ultraviolet light also shows small scattered retouchings including a line of small spots running parallel to the lower horizontal turnover edge, retouchings around the outer framing edges and small retouchings on the woman's forehead and left eye which are undoubtedly larger that is really necessary and could be reduced with more careful inpainting if removed during the cleaning process. There are other small scattered retouchings.
The painting would therefore appear to be in essentially good and stable condition and should respond very well to cleaning, restoration and revarnishing. The extent of the pattern of drying craquelure should be noted.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Goupil Gallery, London, 1907 (as 'Night');
Edmund Davis Esq.;
Barbizon House, London, by 1919;
James Howden Hume, Glasgow (President of Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts 1919-24);
Thence by family descent;
Their sale, Phillip's, London, 7 June 1994, lot 68
Unpublished letter to Hugh Lane (Hugh Lane Papers, Dublin), 16 November 190;
Art Journal, 1908, p.30, illustrated p.31 (as Night);
Art Journal, 1909, Frank Rinder, William Orpen, R.H.A., p.22, (as Night);
The Studio, May 1915, Vol.64, no.266, The Edmund Davis Collection II, p.241, illustrated p.230, (as Solitude);
Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, 58th Exhibition Catalogue, 1919, no.263, illustrated pl.5 (as Solitude);
The Studio, Dec 1919, Vol.78, no.321, Glasgow Exhibition Review, p.118, illustrated p.114 (as Solitude);
Bruce Arnold, Orpen, Mirror to an Age, Jonathan Cape, London, 1981, p.214-15);
Hayden Proud (ed.), The Sir Edmund and Lady Davis Presentation: A Gift of British Art to South Africa, South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa, 1999, p.115, illustrated fig.21.2
London, Goupil Gallery Salon, Winter Exhibition, October - December 1907, no.91 (as Night);
London, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, Summer Exhibition: Twenty Years of British Art 1890-1910, 10 May – 19 June 1910, Lower Gallery, no.10, (as Solitude), lent by Edmund Davis Esq.;
Manchester, Manchester City Art Gallery, Autumn Exhibition, September 1910, no.3, (as Solitude), lent by Edmund Davis Esq.;
London, French Gallery, 105th Exhibition: The Edmund Davis Collection, 4 March – 25 March 1915, no.34, (as Solitude);
Glasgow, Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, 58th Exhibition, 4 October – 13 December 1919, no.263, (as Solitude, illustrated in exh. cat. p.l.5), lent by J. Howden Hume Esq.