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An Onlooker in France 1917-1919
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An Onlooker in France 1917-1919

it was amazing 5.0  ·  Rating Details ·  1 Rating  ·  0 Reviews
Sir, William Newenham Montague Orpen, KBE (1878-1931) was an Irish-born British portrait painter. He studied art at the Metropolitan School and at the Slade School in London where, at the time, great emphasis was put on the study of old masters. He was a fine draughtsman and a popular painter of the well-to-do in the period leading up to World War I. Orpen was made an ...more
Paperback, Illustrated, 184 pages
Published August 1st 2007 by Dodo Press (first published 1921)
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William Orpen was an official British war artist commissioned into the rank of Major and this short but well written book tells of his time on the Western Front.

As an artist his task was to create pictures from the events and scenes he saw, but he was also a gifted and able writer and his descriptions, particularly of the people he comes across, are vivid and compelling.

He is clearly well connected: knowing or having contacts to introduce him to senior staff and high ranking officers who not on
carl  theaker
Nov 18, 2014 carl theaker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to carl by: GeeVee
Shelves: artsy, war

"I'm a painter." author and artist William Orpen self-effacingly
describes himself at one point. Travelling behind the Allied lines
during WW1, he had the opportunity to experience the war, as close
as one can without actually being in the morass, and to peer over
the precipice into Hell.

He conveys his impressions through his art work, some of which
is included, though in black & white in my edition. Perhaps as
he was an artist, he relays an insightful story through his writing,
almost poetic. Hi
Dec 09, 2015 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
William Orpen was once the highest paid painter in London. Sent to art school in Dublin at 13, such was his precocity, Orpen came to London as a teenage entrant to the Slade Art School (part of UCL) and studied with the likes of Augustus John, under the surgeon/artist Henry Tonks. By the time WW1 broke out he had established himself as the leading society portraitist in London. He resisted pleas by his fellow Dubliners to leave London and instead gave his Rolls Royce and chauffeur to the Red ...more
Debbie Zapata
Mar 14, 2015 Debbie Zapata rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pg
The author was worrying even while writing that the soldiers would be forgotten when they returned they were, as soldiers in all wars seem to be when the war is over. This was a touching book, but I did wish he could have gone into more depth. I felt like he was only skimming the surface of many of his experiences.
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