Theo Drill-Oridge 1907

Full-body portrait in standing position, slightly turned to the right, her left elbow supported on a high Renaissance chest; head slightly lowered, but not looking at the viewer. Background a living room interior with landscape wallpaper, Persian carpet and another lower chest, on it a vase with flowers and a picture. The singer wears a black dress with V-shaped neckline, over it a transparent black veil and a large black hat, on the left hand two gold rings.

JQAW# P_1907_070
Oil on canvas 211 x 136 cm
Signature: John Quincy Ɑdams 907
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona Inv. #011181-000

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya

Theo(dora) Drill-Oridge (also Drill-Orridge) (1876-1963). Opera singer, especially of Wagnerian roles, but also active in Italian and as a lied singer.
The soprano Theo Oridge (married to the German lawyer Drill), who came from London, was active in Vienna from 1905 to 1911. Member and performances at the k.u.k. Court Opera in the period 1906-1907 (18 performances, including Rheingold, Rienzi, Rigoletto, and Il Trovatore). 1910 premiere of Alma Mahler's songs. Then engaged in Hamburg from 1912 to 1916, where, in addition to Wagner roles, he also performed roles as Ariadne and Carmen. Bohuslav Martinu dedicated the composition Magic Nights (cross-reference) to her.

The portrait Drill-Oridge, painted in 1907 and exhibited for the first time (KH EL vol. 51 1907/08 #1913), is a masterly portrait by Adams, which anticipates his late style with regard to posing, color scale, and brushwork. The black-haired singer, dressed entirely in black, and the painting's background in dark brown tones, effectively contrast her ivory skin. Exhibited internationally several times, the painting (and Adams) was awarded the gold medal at the 1908 Paris exhibition. 1911 Purchase by the Catalan Art Museum on the occasion of the 1911 exhibition in Barcelona.


1907 Künstlerhaus Vienna (KH EL vol. 51 1907/08 #1913).
1907 Arnold Gallery, Dresden.
1908 Paris Art Exhibition (awarded gold medal).
1909 Art Exhibition, Düsseldorf.
1911 Intern. Barcelona Art Exhibition (purchase for Catalan Gallery).


APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995, p. 78, cat.#47, fig.#32.


1911 Purchase from the artist, International Art Exhibition Barcelona.
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona Inv. #011181-000