Sir William Orpen The Mirror 1900

Artwork details

Sir William Orpen 1878–1931
The Mirror
Date 1900
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 508 x 406 mm
frame: 682 x 580 x 75 mm
Acquisition Presented by Mrs Coutts Michie through the Art Fund in memory of the George McCulloch Collection 1913
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1900

Display caption

The sitter in this portrait is Emily Scobel, a model from the Slade School of Art. Orpen was briefly engaged to her. The room is apparently an accurate portrayal of Orpen’s lodgings, but the shallow pictorial depth and ‘aesthetic’ arrangement of objects is based on Whistler’s famous portrait of his mother.

The concave mirror on the wall reflects the artist painting at his easel. This is a device which Orpen borrowed from Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Marriage which he would have seen on display at the National Gallery.

September 2004

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