An original lithographic portrait print published in Vanity Fair on July 6th, 1910. Bill (Robert Henry Forster) is shown standing on the river bank holding a megaphone wearing the colours of the Thames Rowing Club, of which he was Captain. Published by Hentschel-Colourtype, London, and original image by Elf, who was one of the artists supplying work to Vanity Fair and was only known by his pseudonym.
Vanity Fair was published in London from 1869 to 1914, and each magazine would contain a loose print of a caricature painted by various artists. ‘Spy’ is the most famously known artist who worked for Vanity Fair for 40 years until it ceased publication in 1914. ‘Spy’ was Sir Leslie Ward (1851 – 1922) and he was the grandson of the well-known horse-painter James Ward. Sir Leslie Ward is best known as an artist working in oil, water-colour and black-and-white, although he also studied architecture. ‘Spy’ achieved notoriety by his painting and cartoons of public figures in VF and his works all contain the signature ‘SPY’. His works were also published in the supplements, the most well known being ‘Men of the Day’.