Home 2018-09-25T15:39:39+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 unveiling of 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” has now become a reality. The eleven foot tall Bronze Sculpture of Sir William Orpen was unveiled at The Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan by Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones on the 15th Sept. 2018

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. 

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 is located just outside the Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan (ex Stillorgan Park Hotel). It is visible from the Stillorgan Duel Carriageway and has the security required. Originally a house stood in the grounds of the hotel called Talbot Lodge which would have been seen across the fields (now Priory Grove, Dr. & Ave.) from Oriel Lodge where William Orpen was born.

Sir William Orpen Weekend - Montage from Dominic Lee on Vimeo.

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 took place on Sat 15th Sept 2018 – 5.30pm at The Talbot Hotel Stillorgan (Ex Stillorgan Park).

Saturday 15th Sept. 5.30pm Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones (a big fan and collector of Orpen’s work) unveiled the sculpture which was followed by a WW1 concert (SOLD OUT) in the hotel with various artists (young and old) performing in English, German & French, including a reading from one of Orpen’s books ‘An Onlooker in France’ by his Grandson Richard Olivier.

The event was also an occasion for an Orpen reunion with many of his descendants meeting for the first time.

Sunday 16th from noon – 6pm an exhibition of some originals and some reproductions of paintings and letters by William Orpen. And at 2pm a one hour AV/Talk ‘The Life & Times of William Orpen’ was delivered by Dominic Lee.

From Wax to Bronze