Home 2018-05-25T14:52:39+00:00

Welcome to the website of Sir William Orpen, one of the finest portrait painters of the 20th century. Here you will find all of the information related to the 2018 plans for the Sir William Orpen Sculpture. It is so amazing to think that a sketch created by Orpen in 1916 entitled A Dream: “I imagine that Dublin has seen fit to honour me” is set to become a reality, with the eleven foot tall Bronze Sculpture of Sir William Orpen is now complete.

Sculptor Rowan Gillespie created the bust using one of Orpen’s famous self-portraits along with photographs of one of his Grandsons – James Birkin and his Great Grandson – Danny Olivier. We still require funding for the installation and if you would like to be part of this magnificent project you can make a donation by simply clicking on the donate links throughout the website or contact the Projest Manager – Dominic Lee at The Stillorgan Chamber Of Commerce on: 087 260 0755 if you wish to speak to someone in person.

Sculptor Rowan Gillespie measuring Orpen’s Bust

Orpen’s Sketch (circa 1916)

11ft Orpen Sculpture

The Sections

The four smaller bronze sculptures are based on Orpen’s paintings which give an overview of the various aspects of his life’s work – Poilu & Tommy (French & British soldiers) represent his time as an Official War Artist in World War 1. The self-portrait in mirrors represents his fondness for pictorial self-expression along with his fascination with mirrors. The nude of Yvonne Aupicq represents his appreciation of the female form and the final piece will be based on Orpen’s Dream.

Poilu & Tommy, French & British soldiers represent his time as an Official War Artist in World War 1

The self-portrait in mirrors represents his fondness for pictorial self-expression along with his fascination with mirrors

The nude of Yvonne Aupicq represents his appreciation of the female form.

The Final Piece is based on Orpens Sketch ” A Dream: I imagine Dublin has seen fit to honour me”

Final Location

The sculpture will be located just outside the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan (ex Stillorgan Park Hotel). It will be visible from the Stillorgan Duel Carriageway and will have the security required. Originally a house stood in the grounds of the hotel called Talbot Lodge which would have been seen across the fields from Oriel Lodge where William Orpen was born.

15th & 16th September Unveiling of William Orpen Sculpture

The unveiling of Rowan Gillespie’s 11ft tall bronze sculpture of Stillorgan born artist Sir William Orpen will take place on Sat 15th Sept 2018 – 5.30pm at The Talbot Hotel Stillorgan (Ex Stillorgan Park).

Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones (a big fan and collector of Orpen’s work) will do the unveiling which will be followed by a WW1 & early 1900’s themed concert in the hotel with various artists (young and old) performing in German, French, Irish & English including some Francis Ledwidge poetry readings by a well-known Irish actor.

All are welcome to the unveiling which will be in front of the hotel. However, if you would like to attend the drinks reception and concert, you may book tickets (€25) by phoning your credit card details to Karen Dalton 01 2942359 during office hours (all proceeds go to the Stillorgan Chamber of Commerce Orpen Sculpture Fund).
The event will be attended by several Ambassadors and is an occasion for an Orpen reunion with many of his descendants meeting for the first time.

A one hour AV/Talk ‘The Life & Times of William Orpen’ will be delivered by Dominic Lee on Sunday 16th at 2pm. An exhibition of some originals and some reproductions of work by William Orpen will featured at The Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan.

From Wax to Bronze