Harry Furniss.

The Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 2 online

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[Illustration: AN ARTISTIC JOKE.

_A London Slum. My Parody of the Venetian School._]












_All rights reserved._

December, 1901.




The First Idea - How it was Made - "Fire!" - I am a Somnambulist - My
Workshop - My Business "Partner" - Not by Gainsborough - Lord Leighton - The
Private View - The Catalogue - Sold Out - How the R.A.'s Took It - How a
Critic Took It - Curious Offers - Mr. Sambourne as a Company Promoter - A
One-man Show - _Punch's_ Mistake - A Joke within a Joke - My Offer to the
_pp._ 1 - 25



The Cause of my Cruise - No Work - The Atlantic Greyhound - Irish
Ship - Irish Doctor - Irish Visitors - Queenstown - A
Surprise - Fiddles - Edward Lloyd - Lib - Chess - The Syren - The American
Pilot - Real and Ideal - Red Tape - Bribery - Liberty - The Floating Flower
Show - The Bouquet - A Bath and a Bishop - "Beastly Healthy" - Entertainment
for Shipwrecked Sailors - Passengers - Superstition.

AMERICA IN A HURRY - Harry Columbus Furniss - The Inky Inquisition - First
Impressions - Trilby - Tempting Offers - Kidnapped - Major
Pond - Sarony - Ice - James B. Brown - Fire! - An Explanation.

WASHINGTON - Mr. French of Nowhere - Sold - Interviewed - The Sporting
Editor - Hot Stuff - The Capitol - Congress - House of Representatives - The
Page Boys - The Agent - Filibuster - The "Reccard" - A
Pandemonium - Interviewing the President.

CHICAGO - The Windy City - Blowers - Niagara - Water and Wood - Darkness to
Light - My Vis-à-Vis - Mr. Punch - My Driver - It Grows upon
Me - Inspiration - Harnessing Niagara - The Three Sisters - Incline
Railway - Captain Webb.

TRAVELLING - Tickets - Thirst - Sancho Panza - Proclaimed States - "The
Amurrican Gurl" - A Lady Interviewer - The English Girl - A Hair
Restorer - Twelfth Night Club Reception at a Ladies' Club - The Great
Presidential Election - Sound Money _v._ Free Silver - Slumland - Detective

_pp._ 26 - 130



Quarantined - The Receiver-General of Australia - An Australian
Guide-book - A Death Trap - A Death Story - The New Chum - Commercial
Confessions - Mad Melbourne - Hydrophobia - Madness - A Land Boom - A Paper
Panic - Ruin.

SYDNEY - The Confessions of a Legislator - Federation - Patrick Francis

ADELAIDE - Wanted, a Harbour - Wanted, an
Expression - Zoological - Guinea-pigs - Paradise! - Types - Hell Fire
Jack - The Horse - The Wrong Room! _pp._ 131 - 153



Lectures and Lecturers - The Boy's Idea - How to Deliver It - The
Professor - The Actors - My First Platform - Smoke - Cards - On the
Table - Nurses - Some Unrehearsed Effects - Dress - A Struggle with a
Shirt - A Struggle with a Bluebottle - Sir William Harcourt Goes out - My
Lanternists Go Out - Chairmen - The Absent Chairman - The Ideal
Chairman - The Political Chairman - The Ignorant
Chairman - Chestnuts - Misunderstood - Advice to Those about to Lecture - I
am Overworked - "'Arry to Harry." _pp._ 154-189



Portraiture Past and Present - The National Portrait Gallery
Scandal - Fashionable Portraiture - The Price of an Autograph - Marquis
Tseng - "So That's My Father!" - Sala Attacks Me - My Retort - Du Maurier's
Little Joke - My Speech - What I Said and What I Did Not Say - Fury of
Sala - The Great Six-Toe Trial - Lockwood Serious - My Little
Joke - Nottingham Again - Prince of Journalists - Royal Academy Antics - An
Earnest Confession - My Object - My Lady
Oil - Congratulations - Confirmations - The Tate Gallery - The Proposed
Banquet - The P.R.A. and Modern Art - My Confessions in the Central
Criminal Court - Cricket in the Park - Reform! - All About that Snake - The
Discovery - The Capture - Safe - The Press - Mystery - Evasive - Experts - I
Retaliate - The _Westminster Gazette_ - The Schoolboy - The
Scare - Sensation - Death - Matters Zoological - Modern Inconveniences - Do
Women Fail in Art? - Wanted a Wife _pp._ 190-234



My FirstCity Dinner - A Minnow against the Stream - Those Table Plans - Chaos
- The City Alderman, Past and Present - Whistler's Lollipops - Odd
Volumes - Exchanging Names - Ye Red Lyon Clubbe - The Pointed
Beard - Baltimore Oysters - The Sound Money Dinner - To Meet General
Boulanger - A Lunch at Washington - No Speeches.

THE THIRTEEN CLUB - What it was - How it was Boomed - Gruesome
Details - Squint-Eyed Waiters - Superstitious Absentees - My Reasons for
being Present - 'Arry of _Punch_ - The Lost "Vocal" Chords - The
Undergraduate and the Undertaker - Model Speeches - Albert Smith - An
Atlantic Contradiction - The White Horse - The White Feather - Exit 13
_pp._ 235-271



Editors - Publishers - An Offer - Why I Refused it - The _Pall Mall Budget_
- _Lika Joko_ - The _New Budget_ - The Truth about my Enterprises -
_Au Revoir!_ _pp._ 272-280

[Illustration: HARRY FURNISS'S (EGYPTIAN STYLE). _From "Punch."_]



An Artistic Joke. A London Slum. My Parody of the
Venetian School. _Frontispiece._

My Studio during the Progress of "An Artistic Joke" 1

Harry Furniss's Royal Academy 3

Throwing myself into it 5

Fire! 6

The Pictures by R. Macbeth:
Potato Gang in the Fens;
Twitch-burning in the Fens;
A Flood in the Fens 8

Macbeth in the Fens 9

Letter from the President of the Royal Academy 11

"An Artistic Joke" 15

Mr. Sambourne's Prospectus 18

Cover of "How he did it" 20

Initial "T" 20

My Portrait. Frontispiece for "How he did it" 21

Harry Furniss and his "Lay Figure" 22

Letter from the President of the Royal Academy 25

Initial "I" 26

A "T - Tonic" 27

An Atlantic "Greyhound." 28

The Saloon of the _Teutonic_. The First Morning at Breakfast 30

At Queenstown - A Reminiscence 33

Bog-Oak Souvenirs 34

The Captain's Table 36

Not up in a Balloon 38

Chess 40

Mr. Lloyd and the Lady. "If you will sing, _I_ will!" 42

The American Pilot - Ideal 43

The American Pilot - Real 43

The Health Officer comes on Board 45

Just in Time 46

"A Floating Flower Show" 47

The Bath Steward and the Bishop. "Your Time, Sir! Your Time!" 48

Americans and English on Deck 49

American Interviewing - Imaginary 52

American Interviewing - Real 53

"Sandy." 55

Chiropody 57

"New Trilby." 58

"Amiable Mr. Harry Furniss" 59

Major Pond 59

The Great Sarony 61

James B. Brown 63

Fire! 65

The Alarm 67

The Throne in the Senate 72

The Throne, House of Representatives 73

Initial "T" 74

The House of Representatives 75

An ex-Speaker 77

An ex-Minister 80

Anglophobia 82

The President - Ideal 83

The President - Real 83

Initial "A" 84

A Buffalo Girl 84

President Harrison's Reply 85

Mr. Punch at Niagara 86

Hebe 86

My Driver 87

Fra' Huddersfield 87

Niagara growing upon Me 88

I admire the great Horseshoe Fall 89

Jonathan harnessing Niagara 90

"The Three Sisters." 91

Inclined Railway, Niagara 92

Where Captain Webb was Killed 93

Tourists 94

American Travelling. Nothing to Eat 96

American Travelling. Nothing to Drink 97

Sleep(!) 100

A Washington Lady 102

A Lady Interviewer 104

A Sketch at "Del's" 105

Young America 106

An American Menu 107

My Portrait - _in the Future_ 108

I am Entertained at the Twelfth Night Club 110

Reception at a Ladies' Club 112

Wife and Husband 113

A Dream of the White House 114

The Political Quartette 116

After the Great Parade: "Am I to sit on an ordinary seat to-night?" 120

Italians 123

Where the Deed was done! 125

"A Youth with a Crutch" 127

In an Opium Joint 128

"In His Own Black Art" 128

"Hitting the Pipe" 129

"Good-bye" 130

Initial "W" 131

Coaling 132

Quarantine 133

Initial "T" 134

Sleepy Hollow 135

Prospectors 138

Quarantine Island 141

I am invited to present myself 143

Landing at Adelaide 148

Pondicherry Vultures 150

The Maid of the Inn 150

The Way into Paradise 151

Paradise 151

Adam and Eve 152

A Type 153

Queen's Hall, London. I was the first to speak from the Platform 154

"Parliament by Day" 156

"Parliament by Night" 157

Miss Mary Anderson 159

Initial "By" 159

Giving My "Humours of Parliament" to the Nurses 162

Speaker Brand, afterwards Viscount Hampden 164

The Surprise Shirt 166

Discovered! 168

The Fly in the Camera 169

Late Arrivals 171

Reserved Seats 172

Chairman No. 1 174

Chairman No. 2 177

The Pumpkin - a Chestnut 178

In "The Humours of Parliament." Ballyhooley Pathetic 181

Harry Furniss as a Pictorial Entertainer 182

"Grandolph ad Leones." Reduction of a Page Drawing for _Punch_ made by
me whilst travelling by Train 185

Down with Dryasdust 189

From a Photo by Debenham and Gould 190

G. A. Sala 195

"Art Critic of the _Daily Telegraph_" 199

Counsel for the Plaintiff 200

Mr. F. C. Gould's Sketch in the _Westminster_, which Sala
maintained was mine 200

Defendant 202

My Hat 202

The Plaintiff 203

The Editor of _Punch_ supports me 203

Sir F. Lockwood and Myself 204

"Six Toes" Signature 205

The Sequel - I Distribute the Prizes at Nottingham 205

Initial "T" 206

The See-Saw Antic 207

The first P.R.A. 209

No Water-Colour or Black-and-White need apply 210

A National Academy 211

The Central Criminal Court. From _Punch_ 215

"Thank Y-o-o-u!" 216

Regent's Park as it was. From _Punch_. A Rough Sketch on Wood 217

The Late Mr Bartlett 220

Sketch by Mr. F. C. Gould 223

The Lady and Her Snakes 226

Do Women fail in Art - The Chrysalis 228

The Butterfly 230

Early Victorian Art 232

Young Lady's Portrait of her Brother 233

Waiting 234

Initial "P" 235

Menu of the Dinner given to me by the Lotos Club, New York 237

Alderman - Ideal. Real 239

J. Whistler, after a City Dinner (Drawn with my Left Hand) 241

An Odd Volume 241

My Design for Sette of Odd Volumes 242

My Design (reduced) for the Dinner of Ye Red Lyon Clubbe 243

A Distinguished "Lyon" 243

Headpiece and Initial "S" 245

A Sound Money Dinner 249

A Sketch of Boulanger 251

Address of Boulanger's Retreat 252

A Note on My Menu 253

Remarkable and much-talked-of Lunch to me at Washington.
The Autographs on back of Menu 254

Mr. Punch and his Dog Toby 256

A Memorandum in Pencil 258

Thirteen Club Banquet. The Table Decorations 259

Mr. W. H. Blanch 260

The Broken Looking-Glass 261

The Badge 261

Squint-Eyed Waiter 263

Coffins, Sir! 266

"The Chairman will be Pleased to Spill Salt with You."
From the _St. James's Budget_ 267

A Knife I was Presented with 268

Tailpiece 271

"Au Revoir" 280





The First Idea - How it was Made - "Fire!" - I am a Somnambulist - My
Workshop - My Business "Partner" - Not by Gainsborough - Lord
Leighton - The Private View - The Catalogue - Sold Out - How the R.A.'s
Took It - How a Critic Took It - Curious Offers - Mr. Sambourne as a
Company Promoter - A One-man Show - _Punch's_ Mistake - A Joke within
a Joke - My Offer to the Nation.

"_In the year 1887 he startled the town and made a Society sensation by
means of an exceedingly original enterprise which any man of less
audacious and prodigious power of work would have shrunk from in its
very inception. For years this Titanic task was in hand. This was his
celebrated 'artistic joke,' the name given by the 'Times' to a bold
parody on a large scale of an average Royal Academy Exhibition. This
great show was held at the Gainsborough Gallery, New Bond Street, and
consisted of some eighty-seven pictures of considerable size, executed
in monochrome, and presenting to a marvelling public travesties - some
excruciatingly humorous and daringly satirical, others really exquisite
in their rendering of physical traits and landscape features - of the
styles, techniques, and peculiar choice of subjects of a number of the
leading artists, R.A.'s and others, who annually exhibit at Burlington
House. It was a surprise, even to his intimate friends, who, with one or
two exceptions, knew nothing about it until the announcement that Mr.
Furniss had his own private Royal Academy appeared in the 'Times.' He
worked in secret at intervals, under a heavy strain, to get the
Exhibition ready, particularly as he had to manage the whole of the
business part; for the show at the Gainsborough Gallery was entirely his
own speculation. Granted that the experiment was daring, yet the
audacity of the artist fascinated people. Nor did the Academicians, whom
some thought would have been annoyed at the fun, as a body resent it.
They were not so silly, though a minority muttered. Most of them saw
that Mr. Furniss was not animated by any desire to hold them up to
contempt, but his parodies were perfectly good-natured, that he had
served all alike, and that he had only sought the advancement of English
art. During the whole season the gallery was crushed to overflowing, the
coldest critics were dazzled, the public charmed, and literally all
London laughed. It furnished the journalistic critics of the country
with material for reams of descriptive articles and showers of personal
paragraphs, and whether relished or disrelished by particular members of
the artistic profession, at least proved to them, as to the world at
large, the varied powers (in some phases hitherto unsuspected) and
exuberant energies of the Harry Furniss whose name was now on the tongue
and whose bold signature was familiar to the eyes of that not easily
impressed entity, the General Public._

_"In fact, London had never seen anything so original as Harry Furniss's
Royal Academy. The work of one man, and that man one of the busiest
professional men in town. Indeed it might be thought that at the age of
thirty, with all the foremost magazines and journals waiting on his
leisure, with a handsome income and an enviable social position assured,
ambition could hardly live in the bosom of an artist in black and white.
Unlike Alexander, our hero did not sit down and weep that no kingdom
remained to conquer, but set quietly to work to create a new realm all
his own. His Royal Academy, although presented by himself to the public
as an 'artistic joke,' showed that he could not only use the brush on a
large scale, but that he could compose to perfection, and after the
exuberant humour of the show, nothing delighted and surprised the
public more than the artistic quality and finished technique in much of
the work, a finish far and away above the work of any caricaturist of
our time."_


The idea first occurred to me at a friend's house, when my host after
dinner took me into the picture gallery to show me a portrait of his
wife just completed by Mr. Slapdash, R.A. It stood at the end of the
gallery, the massive frame draped with artistic care, while attendants
stood obsequiously round, holding lights so as to display the _chef
d'[oe]uvre_ to the utmost advantage. As I beheld the picture for the
first time I was simply struck dumb by the excessively bad work which it
contained. The dictates of courtesy of course required that I should say
all the civil things I could about it, but I could hardly repress a
smile when I heard someone else pronounce the portrait to be charming.
However, as my host seemed to think that perhaps I was too near, and
that the work might gain in enchantment if I gave it a little distance,
we moved towards the other end of the gallery and, at his suggestion,
looked into an antiquated mirror, where I got in the half light what
seemed a reflection of it. The improvement was obvious, and I told my

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Online LibraryHarry FurnissThe Confessions of a Caricaturist, Vol. 2 → online text (page 1 of 20)