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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Carlo Pellegrini (1839-1889), 'Ape'; caricaturist

Undated self-portrait
Doubtful self-portrait
By other artists
Undated portraits
Posthumous portraits

Pellegrini’s iconography is small and dominated by caricatures. No photographs have been traced.

Self-portraitsback to top

Etching, whole-length, profile to left with large head; impression coll. Mrs John Harris (inscr. ‘Ape aped by himself’). Repr. Harris 1976, p.53.

Oil on paper; see NPG 2933.

Watercolour drawing on blue paper, 95 x 60mm, head only, slightly to left, eyes to spectator, with dark hair and beard, monocle in right eye; Darnley Fine Art, London.

Undated self-portraitback to top

Pencil caricature sketch on sheet of studies, head, full-face; coll. Kenneth MacKenzie (xerox in NPG SB [Pellegrini]).

Doubtful self-portraitback to top

Watercolour drawing, whole-length, profile to left, one of three drawings by Pellegrini in album of drawings by various artists; formerly coll. Sir John Leslie; Christie’s, 19 July 1983 (29, not ill.).

By other artistsback to top

Oil on canvas by Henry Thompson; see NPG 3947.

Oil on Ingres paper mounted on cardboard by Edgar Degas, whole-length to right, with cigarette; Tate, NO3157. See Alley 1981, pp.145–8.

Oil on canvas by Jules Bastien-Lepage, dated and inscr ‘London’, half-length, slightly to left; NG Ireland, Dublin, 583. Ref. M.-M. Aubrun, Jules Bastien-Lepage, 1986, no.210 (ill. p.153).
This or the caricature by A.J. Marks is the defining portrait.

Pencil drawing by Leslie Ward (‘Spy’), dated 2 Dec. 1879, three-quarter-length, asleep in armchair in Beefsteak Club library; coll. Beefsteak Club, London, 1915. Repr. Ward 1915, facing p.98.

Pen and ink caricature drawing by Harry Furniss, whole-length, seen from behind, sketching two men; untraced. Publ. Furniss [1919], p.159 (captioned ‘“Ape” catching the last of Beaconsfield’).

Watercolour caricature drawing by Leslie Ward (‘Spy’), signed and dated Mar. 1883, whole-length, standing, profile to left, gesticulating with right hand; untraced. Repr. Ward 1915, facing p.98.

Caricature drawing by Alfred Thompson, standing back-to-back with Leslie Ward, sketching each other; untraced; coll. Leslie Ward, 1896; ref. Symon 1896, p.711 (not ill.).

Undated portraitsback to top

Caricature drawing by Leslie Ward (‘Spy’), head-and-shoulders to left; formerly Fielding Club, London. Repr. Ward 1915, facing p.90 (captioned ‘Poker Players at the Fielding Club’).

Drawing by Leslie Ward (‘Spy’), no details known; coll. Beefsteak Club, London, 1896; ref. Symon 1896, p.711 (not ill.) [1]

Posthumous portraitsback to top

publ. 1889
Caricature drawing by Arthur James Marks (‘AJM’), whole-length to right, with top hat, cigar and umbrella; untraced. [2]
Chromolithograph by Vincent Brooks, Day & Son repr. Vanity Fair, 27 Apr. 1889, p.309; copy coll. NPG. [3]

publ. 1909
Caricature drawing by unidentified artist (?’Illy’), whole-length to left, in top hat, cloak and white spats; untraced. Repr. S. and M. Bancroft, The Bancrofts, London, 1909, facing p.412.

Pen and ink caricature drawing by Harry Furniss; see NPG 3500.

c.1919 (or 1925)?
Pen and ink caricature drawing by Harry Furniss; see NPG 3501.

1) ‘The most successful portrait of “Ape” is believed to be an unpublished one by “Spy” himself. This is in the possession of the Beefsteak Club.’ Symon 1896, p.711.
2) The drawing was photographed by London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company; see notice, Daily Telegraph, 12 Mar. 1889 (cutting NPG SB [Pellegrini]), which states Marks made his posthumous drawing of Pellegrini from ‘sketches at various periods’. A.J. Marks was Pellegrini’s pupil and the author of two Vanity Fair cartoons (see Matthews & Mellini 1982, p.213). His sketches of Pellegrini are untraced.
3) ‘Men of the Day no.CCCCXXII’: ‘Vanity Fair had the great benefit of [Pellegrini’s] services from 1869 until death took the pencil from his fingers in January last; and these were the only pages in which the signature of “Ape” was ever printed’ (Jehu Junior’s [T.G. Bowles] tribute, Vanity Fair, 27 Apr. 1889; see also Vanity Fair, 26 Jan. 1889).

Carol Blackett-Ord