An unframed Max Beerbohne
Lot 195
BEERBOHM (MAX) The original caricature of FitzGerald's Omar Khayyam with his book of verses, jug of wine and loaf of bread underneath the bough and being sung to in the wilderness, 1904
£3,000 - 4,000
US$ 5,000 - 6,600
Lot Details
BEERBOHM (MAX)
The original caricature of FitzGerald's Omar Khayyam with his book of verses, jug of wine and loaf of bread underneath the bough and being sung to in the wilderness, with each object being itemised in pencil, namely: "1 – Book of Verses/ 2 – Bough/ 3 – Loaf of Bread/ 4 – Jug of Wine/ 5 – Thou/ 6 – Wilderness", signed in ink in the lower right-hand corner ("Max") and captioned above the key in ink "Omar Khayyam", the figures drawn in black ink and filled with pale blue, red and ochre washes, drawn on laid paper, laid down within a modern white card mount, framed, 319 x 202 mm., 1904

Footnotes

  • 'A JUG OF WINE, A LOAF OF BREAD – AND THOU BESIDE ME SINGING IN THE WILDERNESS': MAX'S CELEBRATED CARICATURE OF OMAR KHAYYAM. This superb drawing was first published in Beerbohm's second collection, The Poets' Corner (1904); the original appearing in his second one-man show at the Carfax Gallery the same year, the exhibition prompting The Athenaeum to dub Max 'our one and only caricaturist' and his drawing of Omar 'as idyllic and charming as it is funny' (28 May 1904, quoted by N. John Hall, Max Beerbohm: A Kind of Life, 2002, p. 54).

    Max is here spoofing the final and most famous version of Edward FitzGerald's oft-quoted twelfth quatrain:

    A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
    A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread – and Thou
    Beside me singing in the Wilderness-
    Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

    See illustration overleaf.
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