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"Bombay" Vanity Fair caricature, Sir William Robert Seymour. c1874.

by Carlo Pellegrini (Ape)

Original lithograph for Vanity Fair c1874. Caricature of Irishman, The Right Honourable Sir William Robert Seymour Vesey Fitzgerald, G.C.S.I.
"Sprung from an ennobled Irish family, Seymour Fitzgerald yet had to make his own way in the world, and he set to work right earnestly at an early age with all the advantages and all the energy that arise from a consciousness of considerable natural gifts and a thorough determination to work them out to tangible resutls. He distinguished himself at College; he went to the Bar and seemed at one time likely to make it his business in life; but discovering soon the advantages of adopting politics as a profession..."  "...having but small fortune, he was sent out to Bombay as Governor in 1867, being at the same time made a K.C.S.I." (Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India).

Established by Thomas Gibson Bowles (1841-1922), Vanity Fair was a weekly magazine of social comment, published in London from 1868 to 1914. With eight to ten pages each issue, Vanity Fair magazine's popularity was guaranteed by the inclusion, each week from the following year, of an amusing caricature, lithographed from a watercolour, parodying any newsworthy personage. Over the years of publication it became a mark of honour to be the 'victim' of one of the magazine's caricaturists. Bowles accompanied each with a witty text, full of personal insights and innuendoes, written under his nickname of 'Jehu Junior' (after the biblical prophet who effected the downfall of his enemies). Bowles considered the images to be “grim faces made more grim, grotesque figures made more grotesque, and dull people made duller by the genius of our talented collaborator ‘Ape’" (Carlo Pellegrini, 1839-1889) who had arrived from Naples in 1864. (Pellegrini had been popular among Neapolitan society, and had repaid the favour with good-natured caricatures.) The other major caricaturist was ‘Spy’ (Leslie Ward, 1851-1922). It was the first time lithography had been used for caricatures. They were printed by the eminent lithographer, Vincent Brooks (1814-1885), who produced over 2,300 caricatures for Vanity Fair.

Page size 355 x 230 (14 x 9 inches). Slight soiling along the top edge. Pencil written name at base has been erased imperfectly.

Stock Number: apVF169Price: $90.00