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Sir William Quiller Orchardson, R.A. (1832-1910)
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Sir William Quiller Orchardson, R.A. (1832-1910)


Sir William Quiller Orchardson, R.A. (1832-1910)
signed and dated 'W.Q.Orchardson 73.' (lower left)
oil on canvas
24 5/8 x 31½ in. (62.5 x 80 cm.)
Art Journal, 1873, p. 198.
London, Royal Academy, 1873, no. 354.
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Lot Essay

'There is a sudden instinctive grace to the figure of the fair girl alone in a bare room' commented the Art Journal, of Quiller Orchardson's 1873 Royal Academy exhibit. The critic foundered, however, in comprehending the vast spaces within the composition, desiring the detailed background more characteristic of mid-Victorian genre painting.

However Quiller Orchardson, in common with Scottish contemporaries John Pettie and T. Graham, deliberately cultivated a balance between narrative subject and style. His feathery brushwork, demonstrated to good effect in areas of subtly varied tone such as the interior of Cinderella, lends his work a warmth and animation that is lacking in more meticulously finished, Ruskinian art. Chesneau termed his palette 'as harmonious as an old tapestry', and the comment is particularly apt for Cinderella. His protagonist's quiet beauty is in perfect synergy with her environment, and the arrangement of objects on the sideboard is as carefully plotted as a Dutch still life.


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