‘The Model’ by William Orpen (1911) with friend and fellow artist Alfred William Rich.

‘The Model’ by William Orpen (1911). Tate Gallery.

Graphite and watercolour on paper.

Orpen painted his friend and fellow artist Alfred William Rich (1856 – 1921) and nude model Flossie Burnett.  

Rich was a watercolourist, teacher, author and a friend of Orpen. He published a book in 1918 – ‘Water Colour Painting’.

Flossie Burnett is the same model on couch and in the painting on the wall. She was one of the models Orpen brought from London to the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art (now N.C.A.D.) to pose nude as it was difficult to find an Irish girl for that task.

Nude Study by William Orpen (1906). Leeds Museum & Gallery.

Orpen did two versions of the paining on the wall titled ‘Nude Study’ and ‘A Woman’, one in 1906 and a life-size replica in 1910, the latter for the Japanese collector Kōjirō Matsukata (1865 – 1950).

‘An Eastern Gown’ by William Orpen (1906). The model is Flossie Burnett.


Alfred Rich also features (with a cigar) in these two paintings by William Orpen – ‘Cafe Royal’ in 1912,  and ‘The Selecting Jury of the New English Art Club‘ in 1909, (National Portrait Gallery, London).

‘Cafe Royal’ by William Orpen (1912) Musee d’Orsay, Paris.  Alfred Rich (centre with a cigar) and includes Augustus John, George Moore, Mabel Pryde, William Nicholson, Nina Hamnett and Oliver St. John Gogarty. Orpen includes himself in the painting seated on the left in a bowler hat.


‘The Selecting Jury of the New English Art Club‘ (1909), National Portrait Gallery, London. Alfred Rich is top left with a cigar.

Part of a letter with a self portrait of Orpen sitting on Alfred Rich’s knee.


Post by Dominic Lee.