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Izzy Orts
© Estate Of The Artist c/o Lefevre Fine Art Ltd, London

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Izzy Orts 1937

Not on display

This painting shows Izzy Orts, a popular bar and dance-hall once located at the docks in Boston, but now demolished. Burra was a frequent visitor to the bar, no doubt attracted by the lively mix of clientele. Many of his works depict life in the seedier areas of cities. Burra visited America several times and this picture is believed to have been painted during his second visit in 1937. The vibrant scene contains a number of strange characters, such as the disquieting blank-eyed sailor who faces the viewer. The sailor in the foreground on the left-hand side is a self-portrait of the artist. The work is painted in watercolour, Burra's favourite medium.

Glossary Open

Medium/ media

The material from which an artwork is made, e.g. oil paint, bronze, paper. 'Medium' is also used for the liquid element of paint in which a colouring agent is carried. 'Mixed media' is used when an artist combines several different materials in an artwork.


A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.

Medium/ media, Watercolour


  • Acc. No. GMA 2147
  • Medium Watercolour and pencil on paper
  • Size 73.60 x 104.50 cm
  • Credit Purchased 1980