This work gives us a rare glimpse of Orpen relaxing with his friends, the Nicholsons and Lanes. The Nicholsons were perhaps William and Grace Orpen's closest family friends between about 1906 and 1909, with the families sharing holidays together in Margate, and the two artists sharing Orpen's studio. One can easily imagine the atmosphere in the drawing room at Orpen's family home, 13 Royal Hospital Road, the friends sitting around playing cards, a family favourite, 'Flying Patience', otherwise known as 'Flying Daggers'. The ever-sketching Orpen headed up the score sheet with little thumbnail sketches of the participants, William Nicholson and his wife Mabel, Hugh Lane, and himself and his wife Grace. Orpen also painted William Nicholson and his family in A Bloomsbury Family, 1907 (Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh).
This work will be included in the catalogue raisonné currently being prepared by Christopher Pearson of the Orpen Research Project.