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Edward Sherard Kennedy caricature: C.5B-1949

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Object information

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Edward Sherard Kennedy caricature


Decorator: Barnard, Frederick




Square white earthenware tile with over-glaze image painted in brown enamel.

A large, bearded man, wearing a loud check suit and a tiny top hat, is walking a dog-on-wheels down a street of tall brown buildings, above which chimneys smoke. Holding his hands on either side are two other men, their heads a similar size to his but their bodies very small, such that they are only half his height; they wear women’s dresses with neck bows and hats. The small man on the right is face-forward and smiling; he has a moustache and a small beard. The small man on the left has a long nose; he is dancing on one leg and looking up at the tall man, who is facing forward and winking. The initials 'ESK' are inscribed in script between them. The tile is industrially produced from pressed dust; on the reverse is an impressed diamond pattern. It is fixed in a (later) wooden frame and stand.


History note: Bequeathed by Miss Dorothy Barnard, the artist’s daughter

Legal notes

Bequeathed by Miss Dorothy Barnard, the artist’s daughter

Measurements and weight

Height: 15.2 cm
Width: 15.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1949) by Barnard, Dorothy


19th Century, Late#
Production date: circa AD 1880


Fred(erick) Barnard (1846-96), the son of a silversmith, was an illustrator, caricaturist, genre painter and portraitist. After training in Paris, he contributed to journals, such as 'Punch', ‘Harper’s Weekly’ and the 'Illustrated London News' and became known as an illustrator of Dickens and Bunyan. He also showed large-scale canvasses at the Royal Academy which commented on urban social conditions; a reviewer greeted his ‘Saturday Night in the East End’, 1876, as amongst ‘the most remarkable illustrations of London low-life […] full of grime and flare, and of human uncouthness’. He settled for a time in Broadway, Gloucestershire, where John Singer Sargent painted his wife Alice Faraday (‘Mrs Frederick Barnard’, 1885), and his two daughters Polly and Dorothy (‘Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose’, 1885-86) [Tate, nos. N05901 and N01615] , and his neighbours included Henry James and Edmund Gosse, the latter recording him wearing an ‘enormous stage slouch hat’. The Fitzwilliam Museum also holds a portrait of Dorothy Barnard, the donor, painted by Sargent in 1889.

One of a series of seven tiles, each depicting a fellow contemporary artist. This design is a caricature of Edward Sherard Kennedy (c.1837-1900), a genre, still life and portrait painter born in Camberwell, who worked for a time in Cornwall before returning to London. Kennedy exhibited at the Royal Academy and Royal Watercolour Society, his work including ‘Fading Away’ (Wellcome Library, no. V0017586) and, like Barnard, Dickens characters, such as ‘Mr Micawber’ Charles Dickens Museum, London. His wife, Florence Laing Kennedy was also a painter. According to a label attached on acquisition, the two smaller figures are models named Webber and Colman.

School or Style

Arts and Crafts (movement)

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( brown) glaze

Materials used in production

White earthenware

Techniques used in production

Dust pressing : White earthenware tile, painted overglaze with brown enamel

Inscription or legends present

  • Location: On back of tile
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.5B-1949
Primary reference Number: 15281
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Monday 18 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Edward Sherard Kennedy caricature" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-26 20:09:43

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