Arthur David Waley
© reserved; collection National Portrait Gallery, London
Arthur David Waley
by Edmund Dulac
pen and ink and watercolour, circa 1915
11 in. x 8 1/8 in. (281 mm x 207 mm) uneven
Given by Sir Peter Wakefield, 2001
Sitterback to top
- Arthur David Waley (1889-1966), Poet and translator. Sitter associated with 15 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Edmund Dulac (1882-1953), Artist and illustrator. Artist of 1 portrait, Sitter in 17 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Dulac's skill as a caricaturist is combined here with a fascination with Japanese prints. The detail suggests a degree of collaboration between sitter and artist. The pose is a traditional one for reciting poetry, while the six-line verse poem and the format of the book suggest a Noh play The charcoal burner in the foreground is a handwarmer, the two metal sticks are for removing coals to light a pipe and the box is for tabacco. The ideograms provide approximations of the artist and the sitter's names both in sound and pun form, while the upper left group provide a title: 'Translation's translation'.
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1915back to top
Current affairsThe Times Newspaper reports that Britain's Army is suffering from a lack of Ammunition Shells, pointing the finger of blame at the Liberal government. The Shell Scandal forced Asquith to form a new coalition government, bringing Conservatives into the cabinet and demonstrating the need to gear the whole country's economy towards the war effort.
Art and scienceAs the threat from aerial attack increased, the decision was made to protect the national art collections by storing them in basements or in locations outside London. On 15th October the National Portrait Gallery under the directorship of Sir Charles John Holmes closed its doors to the public and removed paintings from the walls.
InternationalStalemate ensues on the Western Front and trench warfare begins as both sides take up defensive positions. While offensive strategies become futile, serious loss of life occurs with the first deployment of tanks and the use of poison gas.
Albert Einstein publishes his General Theory of Relativity, a model of gravitation and cosmology.