Oil on canvas
101.5 × 128.3 cm
123.1 × 147.4 cm
Signed bottom right
Sir William Quiller Orchardson RA, 1832-1910
Born in Edinburgh, Orchardson was one of a group of artists who studied at the city’s Trustees’ Academy until Robert Scott Lauder. He moved to London at the age of 30 with fellow artist John Pettie, where he established himself as a painter of portraits and genre scenes. His breakthrough work, ‘Napoleon on board the Bellerephon’, was shown at the Royal Academy in 1880 to great acclaim and was bought for the Tate. He is best known for narrative scenes from history or literature, and ‘costume genre’ paintings set in the 18th century which show sensitive observation of human nature. He also excelled at portraiture, and was commissioned to paint a group portrait for Queen Victoria.