View full screen - View 1 of Lot 69. Portrait of Mrs Georgiana Alice Drum.
69

Sir William Orpen, R.W.S., N.E.A.C., R.A., R.H.A.

Portrait of Mrs Georgiana Alice Drum

Property from the Collection of Sir Michael Smurfit

Sir William Orpen, R.W.S., N.E.A.C., R.A., R.H.A.

Sir William Orpen, R.W.S., N.E.A.C., R.A., R.H.A.

Portrait of Mrs Georgiana Alice Drum

Portrait of Mrs Georgiana Alice Drum

Property from the Collection of Sir Michael Smurfit

Sir William Orpen, R.W.S., N.E.A.C., R.A., R.H.A.

British

1878 - 1931

Portrait of Mrs Georgiana Alice Drum


signed ORPEN lower right

oil on canvas

Unframed: 127 by 102cm., 50 by 40in.

Framed: 156 by 130cm., 61½ by 51in.

Original canvas. Some faint signs of craquelure in the background to the right of her right arm and shoulder which appear stable, and some minor retouchings - only visible upon very close inspection. Overall the work appears in very good condition. Examination under ultra-violet light reveals some areas of retouching along each edge. Also flecks of retouching to the left of her head and elsewhere in the background, mainly the lower half. A larger area of retouching approximately 8cm across in the upper right quadrant which relates to a repaired tear, corresponding to a patch vero. Held in a decorative gilt plaster frame.


Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

The sitter; thence by descent
Sale: Christie's, London, 22 May 1998, lot 28
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
P G Konody and Sidney Dark, Sir William Orpen, Artist and Man, London, 1932, p. 271
Sir William Orpen was one of the first artists chosen by the British Ministry of Information in 1917. After the war, he was commissioned to paint a work to commemorate the Peace Conference at Versailles and then he remained in Paris in the early 1920s, maintaining a studio at the Hotel Majestic. This allowed him to take advantage of any portrait commissions from wealthy tourists (particularly Americans) holidaying in Europe. He sought commissions to rebuild his portrait practice, and retrieve his financial situation, as whilst an Official War Artist, his only source of income was his major’s pay. He also had the added expense of maintaining a studio in London as well as Paris and having to provide for his growing family. The Drums commissioned Orpen to paint both the mother (for £1,500), and the son, Master John S. Drum, Jr. (for a further £500).

Orpen was not particularly captivated by 1920s ladies’ fashion, so when an opportunity arose, he would revel in depicting the more extravagant, colourful and intricate costumes of his wealthier female sitters. Portrait of Mrs Georgiana Alice Drum is a prime example. The artist has boldly depicted the brilliant colours of her attire and has expertly captured the detail of each fabric, for example the delicately draped organza. The overall effect of the shimmering costume is heightened by the dramatic dark background and the only flash of colour in the background, is a deep blue of a velvet curtain in the upper right corner. Orpen achieved the same effect in other portraits, such as Mrs. Ruby Melvill (1920, Mildura Arts Centre, Australia), Miss Jenny Simson (1921, private collection), and Dame Madge Kendal (1926, Tate).