12 May 2006
Sir William Orpen, R.H.A., R.A. (1878-1931)
Illustrated letter to Hugh Lane: Puzzle find the owner of the studio
inscribed 'My dear Lane/I enclose letter which/the old woman cannot/find room to put another/address on - will be glad/to see you again - and/get you to move about/3/4 of the things out./I cannot move at present./De Pass came in yesterday/he wants to know if you wish/to sell the Stevens. at a nice/low figure - told him I don't know/I went and saw his pictures/today - some good and others - tell me did McColl and Hollroyd/really like that thing of mine/in the studio or were they only/just saying nice things or did/you invent? I have been working/at it - but don't know quite what/to think of it myself - my picture/from Dublin has been lost for/the last 10 days - but I believe/from a telegram I have received/that it will turn up tomorrow/I hope you are better - and taking care of yourself - I think/the ghost scene - the Ward - the Mrs. S. the Italian - the Frominter/- the China and Japan - the Miss Lane - the Hugh P Lane might go out/for a start as far as pictures are concerned don't you? Also a/few Manchinis - will you take the place next door? I wish you/would and we could let Ally have a couple of rooms between/us - I am on the hanging commitee of the New E. Poor Rothenstein -/'eaven 'elp 'im - love from us all Yours William Orpen Puzzle find the owner of the studio'
black ink on 5 Bolton Gardens South, SW headed notepaper
7 x 9 in. (17.8 x 22.8 cm.)
Executed circa 1906-8.
The artist's family.
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B. Arnold, Orpen Mirror to an Age, London, 1991, p. 248.
When the artist shared rooms with Hugh Lane it led to some rather sharp exchanges about Lane's possessions which filled the space. Even after Orpen had completely taken over the South Bolton Gardens house he made Lane pay rent for the storage of his things. This letter refers to the studio crammed with furniture and the walls covered floor to ceiling with paintings (see B. Arnold, loc. cit).
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