759 Oil on Canvas - Sir William Orpen 1878-1931 - Portrait of Clara Hughes

This beautiful Portrait painting of Clara Hughes on Oil on Canvas was one of Sir William Orpen's earliest commissioned portraits and its award was probably partly due to the success of his exhibits in the New English Art Club winter show of 1900-01, which included The Mirror now in Tate Britain, London. Dating from the period when Orpen was moving towards the establishment of his reputation and away from the exuberant lifestyle of his immediate post-Slade years, we are fortunate that the artist described the trials and tribulations of this commission in his letters to Grace from Manchester, helping us to see Orpen striving not just for likeness but also the humanity which is such a feature of his portrait style. Rare Painting this one and catalogued Literature: Bruce Arnold, Orpen: Mirror to an Age, Jonathan Cape Ltd., London, 1981, p.106-110 (ill.col.opp.p.161).

Height 24" (61cm) Width 21.25" (51.4cm) Price on Application 


Provenance: Commissioned by Sam Hughes, the sitter's father and thence by descent to the previous owner; Sold  Bonhams, 30 November 2004 (lot 12); Private Collection, Northern Ireland. The commission came from Sam Hughes, a Manchester businessman and proprietor of the bookshop, Sheratt and Hughes. Hughes was certainly a great friend of Hugh Lane and it is suggested by Bruce Arnold that it may be by this route that Orpen obtained the commission (ibid.p.109, note 1).