Arthur David Waley

1 portrait

Arthur David Waley, by Edmund Dulac, circa 1915 - NPG 6598 - © reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

© reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London

Arthur David Waley

by Edmund Dulac
pen and ink and watercolour, circa 1915
11 in. x 8 1/8 in. (281 mm x 207 mm) uneven
Given by Sir Peter Wakefield, 2001
Primary Collection
NPG 6598


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Sitterback to top

  • Arthur David Waley (1889-1966), Poet and translator. Sitter associated with 15 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Edmund Dulac (1882-1953), Artist and illustrator. Artist of 1 portrait, Sitter in 17 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Dulac's skill as a caricaturist is combined here with a fascination with Japanese prints. The detail suggests a degree of collaboration between sitter and artist. The pose is a traditional one for reciting poetry, while the six-line verse poem and the format of the book suggest a Noh play The charcoal burner in the foreground is a handwarmer, the two metal sticks are for removing coals to light a pipe and the box is for tabacco. The ideograms provide approximations of the artist and the sitter's names both in sound and pun form, while the upper left group provide a title: 'Translation's translation'.