Spy

 

Artist Biography:

Sir Leslie Matthew Ward (21 November 1851 – 15 May 1922) was a British portrait artist and caricaturist who drew or painted numerous portraits which were regularly published by Vanity Fair, under the pseudonyms "Spy" and "Drawl". Ward drew 1,325 cartoons for Vanity Fair between 1873 and 1911, many of which captured the personality of his subjects. His portraits of royalty, nobility, and women, however, were over-sympathetic, if not sycophantic. Later, as he became a member of Society himself, he became even more of a complimentary portraitist, moving from caricature to what he termed "characteristic portraits', a charge he acknowledged in his autobiography Forty Years of 'Spy', published in 1915. In an 1897 interview given by Oliver Armstrong Fry (editor of Vanity Fair) to Frank Banfield of Cassell's Magazine, it was reported that Ward received a sum of between £300 and £400 for a portrait. Ward was the most famous Vanity Fair artist; indeed, the whole genre tends to be named after him, the caricatures often being referred to as 'Spy Cartoons'. He worked for Vanity Fair for over forty years, producing more than half of the 2,387 caricatures published.

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