Anatomical drawings by Sir William Orpen

Orpen’s twenty large anatomical drawings are superb pieces of draughtsmanship, in addition to their interest as rare examples of teaching material.


Details

Medium:
Coloured chalk on black paper
Dimensions:
Various
Art Fund grant:
£70,000 ( Total: £160,000)
Acquired in:
2011
Vendor:
Private collection

They were used by Orpen to teach his students anatomy, pinned up on the blackboard. In them Orpen depicts the body’s structure of bone, the muscles which stretch over them and the way that limbs move. He was a highly regarded portrait painter in his lifetime but with the advent of modernism, the avant-garde eclipsed him in subsequent accounts of British art.

Provenance

By descent to the vendor.

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