John Seymour Lucas

1 portrait

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John Seymour Lucas

by John Seymour Lucas
Pencil and brown ink on paper, 1887
11 1/8 in. x 7 3/8 in. (282 mm x 187 mm)
NPG 3040

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Inscriptionback to top

Signed and dated lower right: ‘Seymour Lucas / 1887’;
signed, dated and inscr. lower left: ‘To M.H. Spielmann / From his sincere Friend / Seymour Lucas / 1888’.

This portraitback to top

This head-and-shoulders portrait was drawn in 1887 and the following year dedicated to Marion Harry Spielmann, the editor of the Magazine of Art, who used it to illustrate an article on Lucas by Edmund Gosse.[1] It is a unique exercise in the genre in Lucas’s iconography. Lucas’s natural briskness (see the description by Allan Fea under NPG 5219) was probably better suited to photographic sittings – he was not camera-shy – than to mirrored self-examination. The pictures he sent for exhibition at the Royal Academy from the 1870s to c.1900 include a range of historical genre scenes, although he did turn increasingly to portraiture after 1900. NPG 3040 is closely worked with pencil hatching and the finest ink stippling.

The drawing was part of the large Spielmann collection of artist portraits, eleven of which were purchased by the National Portrait Gallery in 1936, and a further twenty-six given in 1939.[2] M.H. Spielmann began life as a journalist; as editor and critic of the Magazine of Art from 1886 to 1904 he was very influential, and a personal friend to many of the artists who featured in the magazine. In fact many of the artist portraits in his collection came via his editorship.

Footnotesback to top

1) MA, 1888, pp.1–6 (repr. p.2).
2) NPG 2810–20 were purchased, and NPG 3023–47 and NPG 3058 were accepted as gifts from Spielmann.

Physical descriptionback to top

Bust to right, head turned three-quarters to viewer, wearing butterfly wing collar and loosely knotted tie.

Provenanceback to top

Presented by the artist to Marion Harry Spielmann, 1888; given by M.H. Spielmann to the NPG 1939.

Exhibitionsback to top

Display of drawings from the M.H. Spielmann Gift, NPG, London, 1939.

Reproductionsback to top

Magazine of Art, 1888, p.2.

View all known portraits for John Seymour Lucas