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Sir Max Beerbohm (1872-1956)

H.R.H. in the 'nineties. signed & dated 1921

RCIN 917174

The two caricatures displayed together here are part of a series which depict King Edward VII in each decade of his life. Beerbohm depicts a bon viveur expanding steadily in girth, with a different fashionably-dressed woman hovering attentively in each background. When the drawings were exhibited in 1923 they caused a public outcry – one critic concluded that the artist must be ‘either a shameless bounder or a stealthy Bolshevist’ – and Beerbohm was forced to withdraw them from the gallery. Queen Elizabeth purchased the series in 1943.