Skip to main content

Alexander Maclean caricature: C.5E-1949

An image of Tile

Terms of use

These images are provided for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons License (BY-NC-ND). To license a high resolution version, please contact our image library who will discuss fees, terms and waivers.

Download this image

Creative commons explained - what it means, how you can use our's and other people's content.

Colours in this image

Object information

Titles

Alexander Maclean caricature

Maker(s)

Barnard, Frederick (Decorator)

Description

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

An elegant man, with wavy hair and a beard, stands in front of a lamppost smoking a cigarette in a holder. He wears a brown housecoat over shirt and trousers. A heart on his chest, surrounded by shining rays, is pierced by six arrows, one for each of six ladies whose heads float, phantom-like, on either side of his. To his left is his palette, with brushes, inscribed with his initials ‘A.McL’. Filling the space on the lower part of the tile are luxury items, each labelled above with an inscribed quality brand name: champagne (POMMERY GRENO !); a box labelled ‘cigars’ (ELYSIUM); a perfume bottle (PIESSE & LUBIN); a top hat (LINCOLN & BENNETT !); trouser braces (POOLE); shoes (KING & ARCHER); and a glove (DENT). At right is inscribed ‘’&cc—ccc ccc’. 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.

Notes

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

Relative size of this object

15.2 cm15.2 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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

Dating

Late 19th Century
Production date: circa AD 1880

Note

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 the portrait painter Alexander Maclean (1840-1877). The son of a Glasgow manufacturer, Maclean exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1872, but died just five years later. The image suggest he was something of a playboy, attracting young ladies with his fine clothing and taste for luxury. A label attached to the tile on acquisition suggests the ladies included Maud Branscombe, an actress and much photographed beauty.

School or Style

Arts and Crafts (movement)

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of enamel clear glaze

Materials used in production

White earthenware

Techniques used in production

Dust pressing : White earthenware, painted overglaze with brown enamel

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: 'A. MACLEAN (PORTRAIT PAINTER -DIED YOUNG). THE SURROUNDING LADIES ARE MAUD BRANSCOMBE (ACTRESS) ETC
  • Location: On back of tile
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Label

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.5E-1949
Primary reference Number: 15295
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Monday 22 November 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Alexander Maclean caricature" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/15295 Accessed: 2022-07-04 01:15:49

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/15295 |title=Alexander Maclean caricature |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-07-04 01:15:49|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Bootstrap HTML code for reuse

To use this as a simple code embed, copy this string:

                <div class="text-center my-3">
                    <figure class="figure">
                        <img src="https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/imagestore/aa/aa11/C_5E_1949.jpg"
                        alt="Alexander Maclean caricature"
                        class="img-fluid" />
                        <figcaption class="figure-caption text-info">Alexander Maclean caricature</figcaption>
                    </figure>
                </div>
            

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

Portrait medallion of James MacLean

Accession Number: C.133-2015

Caricature of a hunch-back with knock-knees

Accession Number: PD.129-1961

Il Signor Cavr. Tomaso

Accession Number: 34.15-1

Limehouse

Accession Number: P.2089-R

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...