DIMENSIONS: 40.00 x 21.00 x 9.00 ins /101.60 x 53.34 x 22.86 cms
MEDIUM: Thala Limestone
We know from the memoirs of Augustus John that students of fine art at the Slade School were sent off regularly to the National Gallery to study the work of the old masters in detail. This pedagogy was supplemented with visits to the Royal Academy winter shows, the Burlington Fine Arts Club and Guildhall Art Gallery old master exhibitions. In Orpen’s student years and immediately after there was a sudden surge of interest in Dutch and Spanish 17th Century painting.
Beyond Rembrandt and Hals, the keen student would have absorbed the neat, middle class homes of Holland, depicted in the work of Terborch, Metsu, Vermeer and De Hooch, in which wealthy merchants quietly accumulated wealth and possessions. Protestants who abjured the cavalier swagger of Van Dyck’s English sitters had more in common with those who would emerge from the shadows to patronize Orpen and his contemporaries at the turn of the 20th Century.