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Charles Aitken

2 of 3 portraits of Charles Aitken

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Charles Aitken

by Francis Dodd
drypoint, 1914
12 7/8 in. x 8 3/4 in. (327 mm x 222 mm) plate size; 16 in. x 11 1/8 in. (405 mm x 283 mm) paper size
Acquired, 1965
Reference Collection
NPG D7193

Sitterback to top

  • Charles Aitken (1869-1936), Director of the Tate Gallery. Sitter in 3 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Francis Dodd (1874-1949), Painter and printmaker. Artist or producer associated with 52 portraits, Sitter in 5 portraits.

Events of 1914back to top

Current affairs

Following Germany's declaration of war on France and invasion of Belgium, Herbert Henry Asquith, the British Prime Minister, declares war on the German Empire on August 4, 1914. The popular belief that the conflict would be 'over by Christmas' was soon found to be a bitter underestimate of the scale of the war.

Art and science

The fist issue of the periodical Blast is published by Wyndham Lewis, announcing the advent of Vorticism. This movement, named by Ezra Pound and taking in art and poetry, combined the vitality and dynamism of Italian Futurism with the geometric structure of Cubism. Vorticism was a direct challenge to the perceived quaint and domestic style of the Bloomsbury group and Roger Fry's Omega Workshop.

International

On June 28th 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria is assassinated in Sarajevo leading to Austria's declaration of war against Serbia and triggering the First World War. Germany declared war on Serbia's ally, Russia, and then marched on France via Belgium. Soon all of Europe and most of the world was embroiled in total war.

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Maggy Meade-King

29 March 2016, 13:11

I now realise (from a cousin) that I have the original Dodd drawing and you have a drypoint etching (which is why Aitken faces the other way!). Please let me know if you would like me to bring my drawing in for digitisation.

Maggy Meade-King

28 March 2016, 15:07

I have a very similar portrait of Charles Aitken (just facing the other way) signed by Francis Dodd, also 1914. Aitken was my father's godfather and my grandfather Cyril Meade-King was his lifelong friend. I inherited the drawing on my father's death in 2008. I would be interested to know whether Dodd produced two very similar drawings or whether these are, in fact, one and the same.