SWINBURNE, ALGERNON CHARLES (1837-1909, poet) DOUBLE PORTRAIT BY CARLO PELLEGRINI (1838-1889),
Lot 150
SWINBURNE, ALGERNON CHARLES (1837-1909, poet) DOUBLE PORTRAIT BY CARLO PELLEGRINI, PSEUDONYM 'APE', (1838-1889),
Sold for £3,840 (US$ 6,154) inc. premium

Lot Details
SWINBURNE, ALGERNON CHARLES (1837-1909, poet)
DOUBLE PORTRAIT BY CARLO PELLEGRINI, PSEUDONYM 'APE', (1838-1889),
pencil caricatures, full-length, sloping shoulders with hands behind his back (in one holding a book), on thin drawing paper stamped five times 'unfinished preparatory sketch', with two other figures, one of them SIR HENRY IRVING, signed twice as 'Ape' (upside down), 113/4 x 13 in (29.8 x 33 cm).

Footnotes

  • The original preparatory drawings for one of the most celebrated caricatures of Swinburne and one of Pellegrini's most successful images.

    This portrait was first published on 21 November 1874 in Vanity Fair as one of Pellegrini's caricatures of famous Englishmen under the nom de crayon ‘Ape’ - a signature which appears twice on the present work.

    Pellegrini 'inspired a raft of caricaturists’. ‘Spy’ (Sir Leslie Ward) was his begrudging disciple, and Max Beerbohm idolised him, collected his work, hung it in his rooms in Oxford and London, imitated him [some were hung in his study in Rapallo] and dedicated his first book of drawings ‘To the Shade of Carlo Pellegrini. Pellegrini was, he wrote, ‘by far the best caricaturist who lived within our time’. David Low called him "a genius in his speciality...Ape's caricatures were maximum likenesses, that is to say, they represented not only what he saw but also what he knew. Most of them today look as though they were probably more like the persons they depict than were these persons themselves.' (Peter Mellini, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004 and N. John Hall, Max Beerbohm, A Kind of a Life, 2002). A watercolour drawing of this image is in the National Portrait Gallery.
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