This cartoon shows Grenadier Guardsman Colonel Lewis Guy Phillips in his military uniform consisting of a frock coat, a regimental neck-tie and trousers with crimson stripes. He appears to be carefully observing something through his monocle, with his hands at the back, adopting a pose reminiscent of that of a scholar. Phillips joined the 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards in 1859 and served in the British Army until 1885 when he retired. He was educated at Eton and Christchurch College, Oxford and was multilingual (speaking Greek, German, Italian and French) and travelled extensively.
The accompanying biographical note in Vanity Fair, where the illustration originally featured, reads:
'A good cricketer, a wonderful runner, and a marvellous boxer… Although blessed with a knowledge of modern tongues that would have benefited the Diplomatic Service, he chose the Army as a serious profession… He is an acute bibliophile… He has never broken the eleventh commandment, and possibly for this reason, he has never been married'.
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.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.