Orpen portrait of Barbar

Just after Barbar, my grandmother, was married (~1920), her great admirer Mr Johnson commissioned a portrait of her by the famous artist Orpen. In her diaries Barbar wrote of it "I was rather disinterested and would have preferred the fifteen hundred pounds which was the price named. But then I had a letter from Mr Johnson. I wish that I had kept it. What he said, in effect, was 'You know you would rather have today the pearl necklace that the artist's fee would buy you; one day in the future your husband will give you those pearls but he will never be able to have you painted as you are today.' That letter should and did console a greedy girl."

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