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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Walford Graham Robertson (1866-1948), Painter, illustrator, costume designer and playwright

By other artists

Self-portraitsback to top

Watercolour on card, 400 x 234mm, in album, inscr. ‘To K.L.[Katie Lewis] from G.R.’, whole-length, profile to left, seated outdoors with two Old English sheepdogs; Bodleian L., Oxford, Dep.c.846 f.96.

Oil on canvas, half-length, full-face, wearing hat, seated in studio with female child; Russell-Cotes AGM, Bournemouth, BORGM 00916. Repr. Jenkins & Berman 2002, p.42, fig.12.

By other artistsback to top

Pencil drawing by Sarah Bernhardt, signed and inscr., head, profile to left; coll. Annabel Watts. Repr. Robertson 1931, p.126; and Watts 2011, p.18.

Oil on canvas by John Singer Sargent, whole-length to left, wearing long coat, left hand on hip, with dog; Tate, N05066. Exh. RA 1895 (503); G. des Beaux-Arts, Paris, 1896; Sargent, Tate, 1998 (51); Whistler, Sargent, and Steer, Nashville, 2002 (13); and elsewhere; repr. Robertson 1931, frontispiece; Jenkins & Berman 2002, p.72; and Ormond & Kilmurray 2002, no.306 (ill. p.88).
Oil study for this painting, 915 x 712mm, whole-length, looking to left, wearing long coat, right hand on hip; priv. coll. Exh. Yanks Paint Brits, Hirschl & Adler G., New York, 1996 (19); repr. Christie’s, 2–3 Mar. 1978 (105); Hedberg 1996, no.19, p.29; and Ormond & Kilmurray 2002, no.307.
Caricature of this painting with comic caption repr. Punch, 11 May 1895, p.220; and Ormond & Kilmurrary 2002, p.87.

Oil on canvas by Theodore Roussel, The Man in White, whole-length to front, wearing white suit, with hat, in garden; untraced. Exh. Theodore Roussel 1847–1926, U. of Hull, 1997 and touring (organized by Michael Parkin G.); FAS photograph in NPG SB (Robertson).

Black chalk drawing by Vernon Hill, head-and-shoulders to front, with elongated female nudes in background; untraced; Sotheby’s, 1 May 1974 (49); then FAS, London. Image in NPG SB (Robertson).

Photographsback to top

The Charles E. Young Research Library, University of California, holds a large collection of photographs among the W. Graham Robertson Papers, including Box 1, Folder 1, with 9 portraits of Robertson alone and 17 with other performers in costume for amateur theatricals; Box 1, Folder 2, with 28 portraits of Robertson from youth to age; and Box 1, Folder 5, a photograph album containing 21 images, beginning with a carte-de-visite of Robinson as an infant, and other images showing him in childhood and adolescence. Photographers represented include W. & D. Downey, Herbert Rose Barraud, Elliott & Fry and James Russell & Sons. Some of these images are listed below.

Cabinet cards by Otto, Paris, two known poses:
(a) three-quarter-length, profile to right, seated sideways on chair.
(b) with two other young men.
Both The Charles E. Young Research L., U. of California.

Photograph by Elliott & Fry, head-and-shoulders vignette, looking to right; The Charles E. Young Research L., U. of California.

Cabinet card by W & D. Downey, whole-length to front standing on one leg wearing pantomime costume, waving tambourine; Cambridge UL, Keynes.X..6.3 (tipped in to presentation copy of The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde, 1888).

Albumen print, 107 x 144mm, by unidentified photographer, inscr. with sitters’ names, half-length, standing with other members of the Loony Club, wearing flower-garlands on head; Mark Samuels Lasner Coll., on loan to U. of Delaware L. Exh. U. of Delaware, Newark, DE, 2002; and Grolier Club, New York, 2008; repr. Stetz 2007, p.97.

Photographs by Frederick Hollyer, three known poses:
(a) platinum print; see NPG P47.
(b) three-quarter-length to front, with parrot on shoulder; priv. coll. A damaged enlargement of this, signed by the photographer, is also recorded; Christie’s, 27 Oct. 1977 (409).
(c) half-length to front, seated; V&A, London, 7765-1938.

Collodion cabinet card, 146 x 101mm, by Henry & Richard Stiles, London, nearly whole-length, looking left, with moustache, seated with Old English sheepdog; Mark Samuels Lasner Coll., on loan to U. of Delaware L. Exh. U. of Delaware, Newark, DE, 2002; and Grolier Club, New York, 2008; repr. Stetz 2007, p.96.

Photographs by unidentified studio photographer:
(a) two figures wearing identical clothes, apparently the same sitter, whole-length, seated to right, hand to chin, and whole-length to front, standing, leaning on table (presumably a composite photograph, although figures overlap convincingly).
(b) half-length to front, wearing same jacket and tie; coll. Kerrison Preston, 1969. In a letter to Richard Ormond dated 6 Feb. 1969, Preston described this as ‘Isle of Wight holiday group’; NPG NoS (W.G. Robertson).

Platinum print by unidentified photographer, ‘with a poodle’; Christie’s, 27 Oct. 1977 (408). At this date Robertson owned a St Jean de Luz poodle named Mouton.

Photograph by unidentified photographer, with Adrian Pollock seated reading; Christie’s, 27 Oct. 1977 (410).

Photographs by Henry & Richard Stiles, at 3 Campden Hill Rd, four known poses:
(a) oval vignette, half-length to right, wearing white tie and tails, left hand holding spectacles, right hand on hip.
(b) three-quarter-length to front, wearing white tie, tails, evening cape and white top hat.
(c) whole-length, profile to left, standing, wearing white tie, tails and evening shoes, left hand on hip.
(d) whole-length, standing to front, wearing white tie, tails and evening shoes, with sheepdog lying by his left leg.
All The Charles E. Young Research L., U. of California.

Bromide print by unidentified photographer, whole-length to front, wearing knickerbocker suit and hat, hand on hip, standing in garden; colls The Rob Dickins Coll., Watts G., Compton, COMWG2008.1006; and The Charles E. Young Research L., U. of California (where credited to Photopress). Repr. Maas 1984, p.65. This image may just possibly be that described as a ‘silver print study of W. Graham Robertson amidst foliage’ and attributed to ‘H & R (sic) Stiles’; see Christie’s, 27 Oct. 1977 (410).

Photographs by James Russell & Sons, two known poses:
(a) whole-length, seated in interior, wearing dark suit and white tie, right hand on sheepdog.
(b) half-length to front, wearing same clothing, against plain background.
Both The Charles E. Young Research L., U. of California.

Photograph by unidentified photographer, whole-length to front, seated on ?table covered with patterned cloth, wearing dark suit and waistcoat with braid trim, two dogs either side; The Charles E. Young Research L., U. of California.

Bromide print by John Henry Muddle, almost whole-length, seated with sheepdog Richard; NPG x22063. Exh. Contrasts:Paintings by Charles Edward Wilson and W. Graham Robertson, Haslemere Educational Museum, Haslemere, Surrey, 1998; repr. Robertson 1931, p.334; and Jenkins & Berman 2002, p.42, fig.10 [1].

[1] John Henry Muddle was based at 1 Queen Street, Godalming, Surrey. ‘Richard and I are venturing to send you this photograph of us with our best wishes. It is known as 'Muddle's Masterpiece' or 'The Fortunate Accident'. We had gone into Godalming in our oldest and dirtiest things; Richard with unwashed face and tangled hair, and I with my old hat bashed in and a general state of squalor; and in pure absence of mind got photographed. Result, the best portrait ever taken of either of us’: W. Graham Robertson to K. Preston, 14 April 1926; Preston 1953, p.162.

Magdalene Keaney