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  • Posts Tagged ‘Gladys Cooper’

    A GREAT IRISH PAINTER MEETS A GREAT HOLLYWOOD ACTRESS

    Friday, May 15th, 2015
    Sir William Orpen RA RI RHA (1878-1931) GLADYS COOPER

    Sir William Orpen RA RI RHA (1878-1931) GLADYS COOPER  UPDATE: IT MADE 175,000 AT HAMMER

    Orpen’s 1924 portrait of three times Academy Award nominated actress Gladys Cooper (1888-1971) is the top lot at Whyte’s sale of Important Irish Art in Dublin on May 25.  Cooper sat for Orpen when both were at the height of their celebrity when she was rehearsing for the title role in J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan on the London stage.  The shadow against her right arm in the portrait is a nod to this role.

    Orpen selected this portrait for the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1926 and the Autumn Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool the same year. The portrait is documented by both artist and sitter, in the former’s studio book and in the latter’s autobiography published in 1930.

    After starring roles in the West End and Broadway in the 1930’s Dame Gladys Cooper re-located to Hollywood in later life and found success in a variety of character roles. She starred in dramatic roles and silent films before the beginning of the First World War.  Cooper is best known now for her roles in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca and as Mrs. Higgins in My Fair Lady (1964). This was her last role and it was one in which she was again nominated for an Academy Award.

    The portrait is estimated at 80,000-120,000.