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Edward John Gregory caricature: C.5C-1949

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Object information

Awaiting location update


Edward John Gregory caricature


Decorator: Barnard, Frederick




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

Two painted figures stalk across the tile. On the left is a man with unkempt fair hair, a beard and an ill-fitting suit, carrying a muffled spear in his right hand; he is identified by the initials ‘EJG’ in the top left corner. In front of him is a tall, wiry man, with flowing dark hair, who wears a large pendant and carries a sword. To the right, a speech bubble: ‘ “Go on, I’ll follow thee” '. 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.

Irving is in costume as Hamlet, and the inscription ‘Go on, I’ll follow thee’ comes from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 4.

One of a series of seven tiles, each depicting a fellow contemporary artist, this design is a caricature of Edward John Gregory RA(1850-1909), with the actor Henry Irving (1838-1905), whom he admired. Gregory initially worked in the drawing office of the P. &; O. Steamship Company in Southampton, but in 1869 came to London to study art. Like Barnard, he was an illustrator, and from 1871 to 1875 worked for 'The Graphic'. From 1875 he exhibited genre paintings and portraits at the Royal Academy, and in 1898 was elected president of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. A contemporary critic described him as a‘good-natured, thoughtful, capable, big burly blond’, with a pronounced stutter, which suggests the figure depicted here, and perhaps also his admiration for Irving, who was known for his mannerisms of voice.

School or Style

Arts and Crafts (movement)

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel ( brown) clear glaze

Materials used in production

White earthenware

Techniques used in production

Dust pressing : Industrially produced, dust-pressed, white earthenware, lead-glazed, and painted 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.5C-1949
Primary reference Number: 15284
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Thursday 7 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 (2023) "Edward John Gregory caricature" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-09 14:23:00

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{{cite web|url= |title=Edward John Gregory caricature |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-09 14:23:00|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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