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Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston

1 of 4 portraits of Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston

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Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston

by Harry Furniss
pen and ink on paper, 1890s
10 1/2 in. x 5 7/8 in. (268 mm x 149 mm) overall
NPG 3473

Inscriptionback to top

Signed in ink lower left: 'Hy.F.';
inscr. top left: 'Sir Harry Johnston G.C.M.G., K.G.B.' [sic]

This portraitback to top

One of the many portrait sketches made by Harry Furniss during his career as caricaturist and illustrator, this drawing shows Johnston in white tie and tail coat, with his elbow on a lectern; he is seen slightly from below, suggesting that the image was sketched during one of Johnston’s after-dinner lectures on the affairs of central Africa (see also NPG 2902), probably during the 1890s and most probably during 1894, when Johnston was in Britain between two colonizing expeditions.

The clothes are drawn with Furniss’s characteristically vigorous ink strokes, while the head is more lightly traced. By endowing Johnston with an anxious expression over a wide, handlebar moustache the artist has given the sitter a faintly comical air, which is gently underscored by the disproportionally large head and thin legs, reflecting Johnston’s wiry build and short stature.

No publication of the sketch has yet been found, but it may have been done for one of the illustrated magazines to which Furniss contributed. Johnston is not mentioned in Furniss’s volumes of memoirs.

See NPG collection 3337–3535, 3554–3620

Dr Jan Marsh

Physical descriptionback to top

Almost whole-length, half-profile to left, wearing tail coat and standing with right elbow on lectern, left hand on hip.

Provenanceback to top

The artist; his sons, from whom purchased (through Theodore Cluse), April 1947.

View all known portraits for Harry Furniss

View all known portraits for Sir Harry Hamilton Johnston