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William Orpen: An Onlooker in France Hardcover – 15 Nov 2008


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William Orpen: An Onlooker in France + "A Terrible Beauty": War, Art and Imagination 1914-1918
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Paul Holberton Publishing (15 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903470676
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903470671
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 19.7 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 650,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

...the book is a memorable and beautiful reminder of the outstanding abilities of this truly great Irish artist. --Bruce Arnold, The Irish Independent

About the Author

Robert Upstone is Curator of Modern British Art at Tate Britain. He curated William Orpen: Politics, Sex and Death at the Imperial War Museum and National Gallery of Ireland, 2005. Angela Weight was until 2005 Keeper of the Department of Art at the Imperial War Musuem, where she organized the art exhibition programme for many years. She is now a writer and independent curator.

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First Sentence
One of the great British artists of the first quarter of the twentieth century, Orpen is an intriguing example of a painter who, despite his career as a highly successful portraitist, remained something of an outsider. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M on 30 Jun. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent overview on an important early twentienth century british artist. Orpen isn't revelatory or even moderately modernist with his use of paint but he is quirky and distinctly idosyncratic for a more traditional portrait painter, and it is this distinction that sets him apart from his peers John Lavery and other less renown society painters and as a painter who deserves our time and attention today.
It is partly due to the fact that Orpen is pigeonholed as a conventional society portrait painter that makes him abit of an enigma in the artworld. Despite his standing and fame in his own time Orpen is somewhat overlooked and undervalued by todays postmodern generation. That is way there is a real dearth of publications dedicated to him and his work. Making this book all the more valuable in my mind.
This book's greatest achievement is just the mere fact that it archives Orpens extensive output. One will see from there that Orpen's canon is more varied and speculative than one may expect from a 'portrait painter'. This coupled with three illuminating and informative essays makes this book an essential update for the Artist.
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Orpen is not a well-known artist today and where he is known, it is as a society portrait painter. He was much more than this - some of his paintings being more modern than expected.
His portraits are often beautiful, but he painted them to earn a very good living, and it is his war drawings and paintings that most represent his work
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Jackson on 24 Dec. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very nice book, full of sumpteous illustrations. Orpen was an excellent painter and probably somewhat underrated. Excellent if you like figurative art. Some of his paintings of the Great War are astonishing-as are his portraits
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Edmondson on 1 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
WWI in colour. What can I say? Very interesting subject - the idea of a war artist. Pictures of airmen, officies, soldiers and civilians that say far more than words. Colour drawing of a dogfight in the skies above is stunning. Beautiful 'coffee table book', especially given the 100th anniversary. Great present for anyone interested in WWI
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By Bollo40 on 20 Dec. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Received with thanks
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