Friday, May 15, 2015

I Spy

brjudge:  Vanity Fair, SPY print of William Henry Grenfell (Lord Desborough), 20 Dec. 1890 (rower).
Love this little guy!
1898. ECKARDSTEIN Baron Hermann von. 'A German attaché'. Debonair. Born 1864 in Silesia. Educated at Liegnitz. Joined the Army then diplomatic service. Elegantly dressed in white tie and tails. Smoking a cigar.

vanity fair caricature by spy

Like me,
you have probably seen these characters
framed and hanging in homes 
or in antique shops
through the years, haven't you?

j-20109.jpg (296×500)

I remember someone once telling me
that they were from Vanity Fair magazine
but that's all I really knew about them.

Have had a few clients 
through the years who owned
framed prints of one or more of them.
Do you own any of them?

Lord Leith of Fyvie, 1909, Sailing, Vanity Fair

There are so many interesting images ---
quirky characters.

Earl Delawarr, 1879, Sailing, Vanity Fair

The artist:

Leslie Ward  -- Sir Leslie Matthew Ward 1851-1922

Meet Leslie Ward.
Mr. Ward was a British portrait artist and caricaturist
who painted 1.325 portraits in a forty year period
that were regularly published in 
under the pseudonyms "Spy" and "Drawl."

His portraits were created as watercolours
which were turned into chromoliths
for the magazine and later printed 
on better paper and sold as prints.

In the beginning he painted his subjects with
exaggerations of features capturing their personality.

But as the years passed and 
he became a member of Society himself, 
 his art became less caricaturistic
and more "characteristic" he admitted 
in an interview
 reflecting back on his career. 

he believed that caricaturists are born
not made and he painted most of his
subjects by memory. 

I was only able to find two female portraits 
among hundreds and hundreds of men.
I am sure the women were less forgiving
and a tougher crowd to please!

Would love to have a set of jockeys
framed on a wall somewhere.

Sir Leslie Ward (Spy) - Earl de Grey and Ripon

Did you know about 
these Spy cartoons
before reading this?


Sarah said...

Alison, I have a couple of these, but never had them framed. I'm happy to send them to you, if I can find them. ;-)
These are great examples.

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

I'm sure I've seen some of these before but I didn't know the story behind them. It's always interesting to learn about an artist like this. I hope you can find some for your home. :-)

My Kentucky Living said...

Love these guys...and especially the jockeys. Thanks for the info too. I love art history!