First Violin by Apey


First Violin



Ref GM384
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 12" x 16" (30 x 40 cm)
Price Add to basket
This irreverent portrait is one of the famous caricatures of Vanity Fair, perhaps the most celebrated satirical periodical ever published. The first issue appeared on November 7, 1868, with a statement of purpose by its editor, Thomas Gibson Bowles, declaring that the magazine would “display the vanities of the week, without ignoring or disguising the fact that they are vanities, but keeping always in mind that in the buying and selling of them there is to be made a profit of Truth.” The artist responsible for this caricature, Carlo Pellegrini, played a large part in the success that Vanity Fair was to enjoy in the subsequent years. He had come to London in 1864, aged 25, and this eccentric, diminutive Italian, with his large head and long fingernails, soon became the “pet” of English society. Pellegrini has been referred to as “the presiding artistic genius of Vanity Fair’s early years”, his “Ape” pseudonym a reference to the simian characteristics he often bestowed on his unfortunate subjects. The royal blood of the subject perhaps saved him from an apelike portrayal in this caricature. Alfred, the fourth son of Queen Victoria, was born in 1844, and created Duke of Edinburgh in 1866. He enjoyed a successful career in the Royal Navy, showing unusual skill in naval tactics; a great music enthusiast, he was an excellent violinist, and played a prominent role in establishing the Royal College of Music.