Orchardson, William Q.(Scottish, 1832-1910)
Born in Edinburgh in 1832, William Quiller Orchardson studied at the Trustees Academy; an exhibition of his paintings was held at the Royal Scottish Academy and, in 1877, he was admitted into the Royal Academy in London.
Orchardson’s repertoire includes portrait painting, the “grand genre” or paintings of historical scenes, and “petit genre”—glorified and cherished scenes of everyday life—as in his painting Too Good to be True, in which a fruiterier extends a sumptuous orange to two delighted and bashful children.
Orchardson’s work is primarily concerned with emotionally poignant scenes of human life, and his later paintings address the strife evident in certain upper-class marriages, as in the psychologically intense paintings "A Marriage of Convenience" and "The First Cloud." "The First Cloud," depicting amorous conflict, was first published in an exhibition catalogue with the following lines from Tennyson’s Idylls of the King: “It is the little rift within the lute/ That by and by will make the music mute.” Yet Orchardson’s oeuvre also includes less emotive, more whimsical pieces, such his iconic painting His Master’s Voice featuring the little dog peering inquisitively into the gramaphone--the famous advertising logo for RCA.
Knighted in 1907, Sir William Orchardson’s spirited life included travels to Venice and an invitation to exhibit a self-portrait at the Uffizi Gallery.
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