Gerard James Noel (1823-1911): “A Nice Little Fellow”

  • About the work
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Government Art Collection

    This cartoon, published in Vanity Fair, shows a political figure who served under Benjamin Disraeli. It is part of a series of 332 caricatures which Pellegrini produced for the well-known magazine. 

    Gerard James Noel was a British Conservative politician who occupied the post of Lord of the Treasury between 1866 and 1868. He is depicted as a short, elegant gentleman wearing a frock and a top hat. Despite his severe gaze, he is described as ‘A Nice Little Fellow’.

  • About the artist
    Carlo Pellegrini, born in Capua, in Italy, was descended from an aristocratic family. He was just five feet two inches, with a large head and small feet. He became a popular figure of Neapolitan society, producing humorous caricatures of friends, despite apparently having no artistic training. In 1860 he joined the forces of Garibaldi and fought against the Bourbons. He then left Italy, arriving in London in 1864, where he joined the Prince of Wales’ set. His first illustration for ‘Vanity Fair’ was commissioned by T. G. Bowles in 1868 and he continued to work for Bowles under the ‘nom de crayon’ Ape. Influenced by Whistler, he unsuccessfully attempted to paint portraits. He produced 332 ‘Vanity Fair’ caricatures before his death, aged 49.
  • Explore
    Noel, Gerard James
    Materials & Techniques
    lithograph, colour lithograph
  • Details
    Gerard James Noel (1823-1911): “A Nice Little Fellow”
    Colour lithograph
    origin uncertain; old Ministry of Works acquisition, pre-1946
    GAC number