1929 - 2017
Walter Dorin was born in London, England, and started to paint in 1950 while working as a newspaper proof reader in London's "Street of Ink": Fleet Street. In the late 1950s he took a six-month "sabbatical" from his newspaper work in order to study painting in Rome. Italy seduced him and he continued to live there, on and off, for more than twenty years; first in Rome and then Desenzano on Lake Garda.
Dorin had several one-man exhibitions in Rome, Venice and other Italian cities. He also travelled extensively in Canada and the United States, with exhibitions of his paintings in New York.; His paintings figure in numerous collections in Italy, Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Sweden, Germany and Cuba.
Perhaps Dorin's most endearing characteristic is his sense of humour, which is nowhere more evident than in his disparagement of authority figures, particularly those that history (both ancient and modern) has tended to venerate.
This iconoclasm has manifested itself particularly in his political, biblical and historical works and was recognised in 1981 when Jonathan Cape published a book of his "tongue-in-cheek" representations of great historical lovers, which was accompanied by text by George Melly. As the book's "blurb" had it: "Dorin's pictures of these sacred monsters are an austere and humorous corrective to our over-excitable feelings. They are salutary as well as wonderfully entertaining. We see our paragons as flesh and blood figures. Together with George Melly's text, the pictures lend our great lovers a fascinating new kind of immortality - a little more earthy, and a lot more fun". Some examples, pictured below (left to right: Virginia Woolf and Victoria Sackville-West; Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas; Bonnie and Clyde; D.H. Lawrence and Frieda von Richthofen)
[Click on thumbnails in order to enlarge illustrations]
The following work of 1990 derives from what is conceivably Goya's greatest work
The family of Charles III - 1990 - London inspired by:
Goya - The family of Charles IV - 1800 - Madrid
And here is a recent work:
The Organ Grinder of Lucca
A keen observer of life around him in Italy, many of Dorin's studies depict this rich world of characterization in a series of which the following are but a small example:
The Butcher of Ostuni
Il Salumiere di Brescia
Una Tavola da Rosati
Members of Dorin's family in the United States of America provided the motif for the following two pictures
Ben & Frances
One of Dorin's amusing idiosyncracies is to place himself within several of his pictures.; He may be seen seated (second from left) at Rosati's café in the above picture painted in 1988.; A keen eye might discover the spirit of Dorin observing the scene in the Family of Charles III above, while below Dorin has cast himself as Toastmaster in Pray Silence for the Barmitzvah Boy.
Pray Silence for the Barmitzvah Boy
Perhaps nowhere is his gift for satire demonstrated better than in the following
American Gothic - Schmothic
And two more recent works
The Hungarian Guitarist
Zwei Akkordeonspieler in Luebeck
Below are some of Dorin's latest landscape works
Soiano del Lago
Dawn over the loch
Walter Dorin died in his home in Edgware, Middlesex, UK on January 24, 2017. RIP.
A memorial tribute to his life and work will be found at http://www.conts.com/Pearls/CaroAdorini.htm