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Sir Dawson Williams

24 of 947 portraits matching these criteria:

- subject matching 'Eating and drinking'

Later Victorian Portraits Catalogue Search

Sir Dawson Williams

by Harry Furniss
Pen and ink with traces of pencil on Bristol board, circa 1910s
15 1/4 in. x 12 1/2 in. (387 mm x 318 mm)
NPG 6251(67)

Inscriptionback to top

Signed in ink, lower right: ‘Hy. F.’;
blind stamp, lower right-hand corner: ‘BRISTOL BOARD WINSOR & NEWTON LD’.
On reverse:
inscr. in pencil: ‘Dawson Williams M.D.’;
NPG ownership stamp, dated 1948, corrected by hand to 1947.

This portraitback to top

Dawson Williams was a gift to caricaturists, ‘a commanding, even awe-inspiring figure, well over six feet tall, glaring sternly through a pair of rimless spectacles which were jammed on his aquiline nose beneath craggy eyebrows. He was a taciturn man, but when moved he could be brusquely ironical, or diplomatically persuasive.’ [1]

In strong rapid pen strokes Harry Furniss conveys Williams’s ‘impatience and prickly, autocratic manner’. [2] He shows the editor hunched over a paper, gripping a fork, his great frame folded under a dining table. This large sketch may have been taken from life; and the inscription on the reverse (‘Dawson Williams M.D.’) suggests it may be dated to before his knighthood in 1921.

See also NPG Portrait Set ‘Drawings by Harry Furniss, late 19th–early 20th century’, transferred from the Reference Collection in 1994; NPG collection 3337–3535, 3554–3620; and NPG collection 4095(1–11).

Carol Blackett-Ord

Footnotesback to top

1) Vaughan 1959, p.145.
2) Vaughan 1959, p.148.

Physical descriptionback to top

Whole-length seated to left, wearing spectacles, reading a newspaper, holding fork in left hand.

Provenanceback to top

The artist; his sons, from whom purchased (through Theodore Cluse), April 1947; transferred from NPG Reference Collection, 1994.

Reproductionsback to top

Furniss [c.1913–16], pl.71.

View all known portraits for Harry Furniss

View all known portraits for Sir Dawson Williams