This is a fine sheet of studies by Sir John Bernard Partridge (1861 – 1945).
He was a celebrated English illustrator, and nephew of John Partridge, portrait-painter extraordinary to Queen Victoria.
Partridge was educated at Stonyhurst College, and after matriculating at the University of London entered the office of Dunn & Hansom, architects. He then joined for a couple of years a firm of stained-glass designers (Lavers, Barraud and Westlake), learning drapery and ornament; and then studied and executed church ornament under Philip Westlake, 1880–1884.
He began illustration for the press and practised watercolour painting, but his chief success was derived from book illustration.
In 1891 he joined the staff of Punch and, in 1910, became its chief cartoonist. During his time at Punch, Partridge published several cartoons showing his support for the Suffragist movement.
He was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and of The Pastel Society. In 1915, he designed World War I posters, some of which are now held at the State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, including Take up the Sword of Justice (H33861/33).
In 1925, he was knighted by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and gave his support to the government during the General Strike.
In 1945, he was involved in a fatal accident where he was painting a city landscape of London on top of Big Ben. He plummeted the 96-meter drop but miraculously survived, But, with great misfortune - he was run over by the ambulance which was on route to rescue him - yikes!
Early sheets of studies, like this one, are very rare. It is certainly a fine piece of Victorian draughtsmanship - and my price reflects the rarity of these type of works by Partridge. The composition is very dramatic and might be a sketch which he made when he was in the theatre. He did some very fine studies of the famous actor, Sir Henry Irvine.
This fine sheet is signed in the bottom right - and it was probably drawn in the 1880s. The study shows a sculptural figure dressed in flowing robes in the centre of the sheet. Patridge is fascinated by the drapery - and has made lots of tiny studies of folds of the material around the edge of the sheet. The drawing might have been a preliminary sketch for a painting or piece of stained glass. It is titled (in very faint pencil) along the top margin: Roma. The pose is rather similar to that used on the figure of Justice in his famous WWI Recruiting poster.
Dimensions: Image size is 29 x 20 cm. Frame size is 44 x 35 cm.
Weight unpacked is 1.2 kg.
Other works by (or indeed featuring portraits of Partridge) are in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Lond and the Victoria and Albert Museum. His crisp pen and ink studies made for illustrations in PUnch are currently for sale with Christopher Beetles in London.
It comes framed with an oak frame (as photographed). It might benefit from a new window mount - but it is certainly in fine enough condition to hang straight on your wall. Any white marks on my photographs are not on the artwork - but are merely reflections when I have taken snaps through the glass.
Please note: The price quoted here is from the artwork only. The frame comes free with this artwork. Any damage in transit to the frame / mount / picture glass will not be subject to any refunds, discounts or re-framing costs from us.