Sketch and letter from William Orpen to Evelyn St George for sale.

Forthcoming Auction at Morgan O’Driscoll. Lot 143. 8th June 2020 (auction link below).

UPDATE – Sold for €1,100 – Hammer Price.

‘A Bearded Barbarian’ by Sir William Orpen (1912).

Signature: signed lower right, dated upper left.
Medium: pen and ink on letterhead paper.
Dimensions: 26 by 21 centimeters, 10.2 by 8.25 inches.

Written on Orpen’s letterhead, 8 South Bolton Gardens, London, the text of the letter refers to Gardenia and her “smart set” of friends, as well as other St George family members such as Vivien. Orpen begs Mrs St George to forgive his drawing as it shows “nothing of the beauty of the original” – evidently someone they both disliked.

Text reads: – My dear Mrs St George.. I hope you and Gardenia got back safe and that the latter liked her “smart set” , I suppose now that she wears mothers clothes she ought to – I write today as I don’t think I will get a chance on Monday or Tuesday. Forgive the drawing as usual I show nothing of the beauty of the original. I hope you found Vivien and Mr Stephens well and that all your pains are gone. Let me know if I can do anything for you. Your loving friend William Orpen.


Auction link: –


Post by Dominic Lee, Orpen Research Project.