6 December 2013
[CHURCHILL, Winston S.] ORPEN, Sir William (1878-1931). Study for the portrait of Sir Winston Churchill, n.d. [ca. 1916]. Pencil, 10½ x 9in., laid down on card, mat burn along edges.
A FINE STUDY OF CHURCHILL, done after his departure from the Cabinet in the aftermath of the Dardanelles disaster and his brief tour of duty in the trenches of the Western Front. In 1917, Orpen went to France himself with a Major's commission as a war artist. "His output, and its overall excellence, makes him the outstanding war artist of that period, possibly the greatest war artist produced in Britain" (DNB). He stayed on in France for several years after the Armistice, continuing to record the war's devastation on his canvasses. His 138 war paintings are now in the Imperial War Museum. Provenance: Christie's, London, 8 June 1989, lot 57.
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