Thursday 21 September 2017

'Scandal' portrait fetches a million

Portrait of Lady Idina Wallace
Portrait of Lady Idina Wallace
Mark O'Regan

Mark O'Regan

A PAINTING by a famous Irish artist of a woman who 'scandalised a generation' has been sold for £954,000 (€1,136,000) at auction.

The portrait by Sir William Orpen of Lady Idina Wallace was of a woman who had a highly controversial lifestyle, which provoked much comment among her friends and acquaintances in London high society.

Her family had already attracted notoriety when her father was labelled 'Naughty Gilbert' after he ran away with a can-can dancer.

'The Portrait of Lady Idina Wallace', which dates from 1915, was sold over the phone at Sotheby's auction house yesterday to an anonymous American collector.

Lady Wallace was known to fall in love freely and often and she married five times. One of her husbands, whom she had divorced, was later murdered in Kenya. The killing, which was recounted in the 1987 movie 'White Mischief', remains unsolved.

Born in Stillorgan, Co Dublin, Sir William Orpen lived from 1878 to 1931. This portrait was one of a number he painted of aristocratic women.

Irish Independent

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