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Alan Legge Gardner, 3rd Baron Gardner

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Alan Legge Gardner, 3rd Baron Gardner

by Sir Leslie Ward
watercolour, published in Vanity Fair 21 January 1883
12 in. x 7 1/8 in. (305 mm x 181 mm)
Purchased, 1934
Primary Collection
NPG 3287

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • Sir Leslie Ward (1851-1922), 'Spy'; caricaturist and portrait painter; son of Edward Matthew Ward. Artist associated with 1614 portraits, Sitter in 9 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Lord Gardner appears in this Vanity Fair cartoon entitled Fox Hunting accompanied by an very overweight collie. The title may be a reference to Gardner's legendary skills as a huntsman when a young man. Collies had become fashionable since Queen Victoria surrounded herself with them after the death of Prince Albert. In the 1870s a portrait of her favourite collie Sharp had been exhibited at the Royal Academy.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Gibson, Robin, The Face in the Corner: Animal Portraits from the Collections of the National Portrait Gallery, 1998, p. 63
  • Robin Gibson, Pets in Portraits, 2015, p. 98 Read entry

    The title of this cartoon when published in the magazine Vanity Fair was ‘Fox Hunting’, rather surprisingly perhaps in view of the affable old gentleman depicted and his grossly overweight collie. Lord Gardner had in his younger days, however, been a member of the most fashionable circles, a friend of Count D’Orsay and Lady Blessington, and a legendary huntsman. Now, as Vanity Fair notes, he had become a good shot and taken up salmon fishing.

    Working under the pseudonym ‘Spy’, Sir Leslie Ward produced many drawings that were, unlike most caricatures, done from actual sittings with his subjects, and the portraits of both master and dog here have an authentic feel to them. Lord Gardner died soon after the publication of this drawing, and one might speculate that the ageing collie was not long in following him. Collies had become very fashionable since receiving the royal seal of approval, and Queen Victoria owned a number of them in her widowhood. In the 1870s, her favourite collie, Sharp, had his portrait exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 237

Events of 1883back to top

Current affairs

Following the Secret Ballot Act (1872), the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Act was a further measure introduced by Gladstone's government with the intention of limiting bribery and intimidation in elections. Candidates' expenses were published, and a strict limit set on expenses, and it also enabled poorer candidates to stand for parliament.

Art and science

The Royal College of Music founded in London, with the British musicologist George Grove as its first director.
Monet moves to Giverny, a village along the Seine, where he lives until his death in 1926. Renting a farmhouse he later buys, Monet designs a pond, redesigns the garden, and begins to paint some of his most recognisable images of water lilies, flower beds and the Japanese footbridge.


The Brooklyn Bridge opens in New York, connecting the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn, stretching 1825 metres over the East River. One of the oldest suspension bridges in America, it was the largest in the world upon completion. Designed by the John Augustus Roebling's engineering firm, the bridge is built from limestone, granite and Rosendale natural cement, in gothic style.

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