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Onslow Ford exhibited this head at the Royal Academy in 1895, the year in which he was elected a full Academician. It shows the Scottish painter Orchardson, who was a generation older than Ford and had been an RA since 1877.

Ford made many portraits of British and French artists, and this year also exhibited heads of the painters Briton Riviere and Matthew Ridley Corbet at the RA. He often worked in terracotta, and the fine detail in heads such as this one records his precise cutting of the original clay model. The signature of Orchardson was written into wax and added to the base before casting.

August 2004