SPY - WARD,, Leslie

(1851 - 1922)
 “not ... any personal venom, but ….  detached observation of life and character”

Leslie Ward, working under the pseudonym “SPY”, was the best known of an international group of artists who worked for Vanity Fair magazine.  He produced caricatures of many of the leading characters of the day, including artists, athletes, rowers, royalty, statesmen, authors, and soldiers.  The portraits were produced as watercolours and turned into chromolithographs for publication in the magazine.  These were then usually reproduced on better quality paper and sold as prints.  The son of the painters Edward and Henrietta Ward, he went to Eton and from thence to the Royal Academy.  He began drawing for Vanity Fair in 1873 where he worked for more than forty years producing more than half of the 2387 published caricatures. Ward’s last cartoon for Vanity Fair appeared in June 1911 as he had recently begun to contribute his “characteristic portraits” to The World and Mayfair. In his autobiography “Forty Years of Spy” he averred that “when the history of the Victorian era comes to be written in true perspective, the most faithful mirror and record of representative men and spirit of their times will be sought and found in Vanity Fair.”  The name of SPY became synonymous with the genre of portrait-style cartoons and he was knighted in 1918 for his 'good work to the citizens of the British Empire'.

 Please scroll down to view our current stock of SPY cartoons.

 


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