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Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree

1 of 57 portraits of Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, by Harry Furniss, circa 1885-1923 -NPG 4095(11) - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree

by Harry Furniss
pen and ink on Bristol board, circa 1885-1923
15 1/4 in. x 12 1/2 in. (387 mm x 318 mm)
NPG 4095(11)

Inscriptionback to top

Inscr. with initials in ink, lower right: ‘Hy.F’;
blind stamp top left.

This portraitback to top

This drawing of Herbert Beerbohm Tree is part of a collection of 130 unbridled caricatures by Harry Furniss of fellow members of the Garrick Club. Tree was elected to the club in 1884, and Furniss the following year. According to Maud Tree, her husband was in his element in its gloomy but sociable rooms: ‘The Garrick Club – how Herbert loved it! And how proud he was when he became a member! … “I like its glare,” said Disraeli of Brighton. “I like its gloom,” said Herbert of the Garrick.’ [1]

Furniss knew Tree well and observed that ever ‘susceptible to the admiration of the public … [he] was always ready to play his part on the stage and off’. [2] Here he draws him corpulent and exuberant, hand on hip (a typical pose ‘even on horseback’), holding forth. [3]

There are Furniss caricatures showing Tree as a young man; see ‘All known portraits, Paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints, In private character’. NPG 4095(11) appears to show Tree in his fifties. It was published as plate 8 in Furniss’s Garrick Gallery Caricatures.

See NPG collection 4095(1–11).

Carol Blackett-Ord

Footnotesback to top

1) M. Tree, ‘Herbert and I’, in Beerbohm [1920], p.2. There is a rich collection of Beerbohm Tree material in the Garrick Club archive, with ephemera including programmes, a scrapbook and photographs not all recorded on the online catalogue.
2) Furniss 1919, pp.209–10.
3) V. Tree, ‘My Father’, in Beerbohm [1920], p.171.

Physical descriptionback to top

Whole-length, three-quarters to left, left hand on hip, gesturing with right hand.

Conservationback to top

Conserved, 1980

Provenanceback to top

Blenheim Galleries, London, from whom purchased February 1959.

Reproductionsback to top

Furniss [1915–16], pl.8.

View all known portraits for Harry Furniss

View all known portraits for Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree

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