This image is subject to copyright and cannot be downloaded or reproduced without written permission.
Sir William Orpen RHA, RA AWS (1878-1931) - Portrait of Michael Davitt

Portrait of Michael Davitt

Sir William Orpen RHA (1878 – 1931)

  • Artist
    Sir William Orpen RHA
  • Title
    Portrait of Michael Davitt
  • Date
    c. 1906
  • Dimensions
    24 × 24.5cm
  • Medium
    Oils
  • Collection
    Niland Collection
  • Provenance
    Presented by Miss Aileen Bodkin, daughter of Dr. Thomas Bodkin, to Sligo County Library and Museum, in 1963. In memory of Dr. Thomas Bodkin.
Description

William Orpen was one of the most successful artists of his generation. Born in Dublin, he studied at the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art, where he later became an influential teacher, and at the Slade School, London. Although he made his name painting the British aristocracy, Orpen also produced a number of portraits of distinguished Irish men for a series that Hugh Lane had originally commissioned from John B. Yeats. Orpen’s portrait of the Michael Davitt (1846–1906), Leader of the Land League, is now in the Collection of the Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane, and is amongst the most successful of the series.

This painting has none of the refinement of the Hugh Lane work and appears to be an oil sketch more closely related to Orpen’s drawing of Davitt in the National Gallery of Ireland. Orpen only had a few sittings with Davitt and it is possible that both these works were executed from memory rather than life. Unusually, the Model and Niland portrait depicts Davitt’s torso from the right side. He had lost his right arm in his youth and was therefore usually depicted from the left.

Written by Riann Coulter

Browse the Collection

Browse by: Image / List

  1. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Self Portrait
  2. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Augusta Gregory
  3. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- The Sea and the Lighthouse
  4. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Cartoon for Figure of Christ
  5. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Douglas Hyde
  6. Norah McGuinness - Tide Receding, Dublin Bay
  7. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - The Gathering
  8. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979) - Country Scene
  9. Marie Foley (b. 1959) - To Measure the Immeasurable
  10. Patrick Scott (b. 1921) - Bog Sun (16)
  11. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - The Sower
  12. Jack B. Yeats (1871 - 1957) - The Toy Theatre
  13. George William Russell(AE) (1867-1935) - Landscape with Woman and Children
  14. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Leaving the Far Point
  15. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of Susan Mitchell
  16. Maurice MacGonigal, PRHA (1900 - 1979)- Port Rachrainn
  17. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957) - An Island Man
  18. Louis le Brocquy - Hell Fire Club from Tibradden
  19. John B. Yeats (1839-1922) - Portrait of John O’Leary
  20. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- He wins
  21. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Market Day
  22. Constance Gore-Booth (1868-1927) - Untitled
  23. Jack B. Yeats (1871-1957)- Sailor home from the sea
  24. Patrick Hall - Jesus Walking on the Sea