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Original portrait caricature of George Moore.

1896 Stock Code: 134481
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Original pencil and watercolour caricature by Beerbohm, signed "Max" at center and titled "Mr George Moore" lower right. Hart-Davis 1044.

1896 was a banner year for artist, author, and aesthete Max Beerbohm. His boldly titled book The Works of Max Beerbohm was published (opening with his influential essay "Dandies and Dandies"), and his first public exhibition was held at the Fine Arts Society. This drawing, Beerbohm's first caricature of the Irish writer George Moore (1852-1933), was displayed in the show and was also reproduced in Twenty-Five Gentlemen.

As Margaret Stetz writes in Facing the Late Victorians, "Beerbohm believed fervently in the value of self-contradiction and of holding fast to principles that were seemingly incompatible and irreconciliable, a philosophy which he brought to the art of caricature. To admire someone meant that one must also seek out and ridicule the unlovely sides of one's object of admiration." Beerbohm returned regularly to caricature George Moore over the succeeding decades, just as he did with Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and others, chief among them, of course, himself.

This drawing was inscribed to artist Charles Shannon (18631937), painter and lithographer, and lifelong friend of Charles Ricketts. "Ricketts was the dominant figure in the artistic and literary circle which formed around them in Chelsea (188898) and then more privately at Richmond (18981902)" (ODNB). Beerbohm knew them and produced joint portraits of the pair on several occasions. In 1896, Shannon published a lithographic portrait of Beerbohm in full regalia of a clubman and dandy. A choice portrait with an interesting association.

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Pencil and watercolor drawing (320 x 180 mm).


Partly effaced inscription lower left. Mounted, framed and glazed.


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