"Sir Henry Irving (1838–1905)"
By Philip William ‘Phil’ May, R.I., R.P., N.E.A.C. (1864-1903)
Graphite on paper
24 cm x 18.9 cm
Albany Gallery, 14 Mason's Yard, Duke Street, St James's, London, SW1 (Spring Exhibition, 1969)
Private collection Oxfordshire, U.K.
A wonderfully accomplished sketch of the legendary Victorian actor Sir Henry Irving by one of the most famous caricaturists of the late 19th Century. Phil May depicted Irving on a number occasions (four such works are held in the National Portrait Gallery). In this image, which is a wonderful demonstration of the astonishing economy of line for which Phil May is so famous, the artist has captured Irving's distinctive profile half-length facing left, wearing a very smartly tailored greatcoat and doffing his top hat, his left arm to his hip pocket.
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