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Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Sir Leslie Ward (1851-1922), 'Spy'; caricaturist and portrait painter; son of Edward Matthew Ward

Caricaturist (‘Spy’, ‘Drawl’) and portrait painter; born 21 November 1851, in London, son of Edward Matthew Ward and Henrietta Ward, both historical genre painters. Attended Royal Academy Schools 1871; earliest drawing for Vanity Fair (‘Old Bones’ [Sir Richard Owen]) publ. 1 March 1873; [1] with Carlo Pellegrini (‘Ape’) the major contributor of the magazine’s ‘Men of the Day’ portraits, producing a total of 1,325 caricatures/coloured portraits between 1873 and retirement in 1911 (the magazine closed 1914); knighted 1918; died 15 May 1922, at his home, 4 Dorset Square, London.

Ward’s appearance in middle age was of ‘a dark, soldierly-looking man, well set up at all points’. [2] ‘He was known as a more forgetful person than most. Corney Grain composed a song about his hopeless ignorance of time and place, and many stories of his failing were invented or told.’ [3]

Carol Blackett-Ord

Footnotesback to top

1) Another early Vanity Fair caricature was of his father, E.M. Ward (‘Historic Art’), 20 Dec. 1873. For further study of L. Ward’s working methods, see NPG Archive Drawings Collection (Ward).
2) Sketch, 10 Jan. 1894, p.579.
3) Jacomb-Hood 1925, p.750.

Referencesback to top

Bénézit 1999
Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs de tous les temps et de tous les pays, 4th ed., 14 vols, Paris, 1999.

Bills & Webb 2007
Bills, M., and D. Webb, eds, Victorian Artists in Photographs: [The World of G.F. Watts]. Selections from the Rob Dickins Collection, exh. cat., Watts Gallery, Compton, 2007.

Hall 1997
Hall, N.J., Max Beerbohm Caricatures, New Haven and London, 1997.

Harris & Ormond 1976
Harris, E., and R. Ormond, Vanity Fair: An Exhibition of Original Cartoons, NPG, London, 1976.

Hart-Davis 1972
Hart-Davis, R., A Catalogue of the Caricatures of Max Beerbohm, London, 1972.

Jacomb-Hood 1925
Jacomb-Hood, P., With Brush and Pencil, London, 1925.

Matthews & Mellini 1982
Matthews, R., and P. Mellini, In ‘Vanity Fair’, London, 1982.

Mellini 2004b
Mellini, P., ‘Ward, Sir Leslie [Spy] (1851–1922)’, ODNB, Oxford, 2004.

Symon 1896
Symon, J.D., ‘A Visit to “Vanity Fair”’, The Windsor Magazine, vol.3, 1896, pp.703–14.

Ward 1915
Ward, L., Forty Years of ‘Spy’, London, 1915.

Ward [1924]
Ward, E.M., Memories of Ninety Years, London [1924].

Carol Blackett-Ord