A PAINTING by Sir William Orpen is expected to fetch up to £500,000 when it is put up for auction at Sotheby’s in London this autumn.
The renowned auction house will relaunch its annual Irish Arts Sale on October 21 after a four-year absence.
The principal lot at the upcoming sale is a painting by Dublin-born Orpen, entitled Nude Girl Reading.
Arabella Bishop, head of Sotheby’s Ireland, said that in recent years buyers from both Ireland and elsewhere are “actively buying and bidding” for Irish art.
“The moment is right to relaunch a dedicated annual sale,” she said.
Orpen was one of Britain’s official First World War artists and became a leading portrait painter in London.
Nude Girl Reading is a painting of Frenchwoman Yvonne Aubicq, the daughter of the mayor of Lille, painted in Paris in about 1921.
Sotheby’s said Nude Girl Reading “belongs to a small and important group of nudes by Orpen for which Yvonne modelled in the 1920s”.
In 2001 Orpen’s Portrait of Gardenia St George with Riding Crop sold for £1.98 million to an anonymous US collector.
Sotheby's was the first international auction house to hold sales of Irish art in 1995.