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Drawing

Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    London (drawn)

  • Date:

    1896 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gunnis, Louis (drawn)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    pen and ink on drawing board

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Sir William Ingram

  • Museum number:

    S.657-2012

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Pen and ink sketch with highlights in blue pencil crayon, created for publication in an illustrated newspaper or magazine, probably 'The Sketch'. It is captioned 'Sign of The Cross', and shows a backstage view of the Lyric Theatre.

The sketch was drawn by Louis Gunnis in 1896 and has been signed by the artist in the bottom right hand corner.

This item is one of several theatrical drawings from a collection of sketches commissioned from contemporary artists to be printed in illustrated magazines. The collection was donated to the museum by Sir William James Ingram in 1914.

Physical description

Pen and ink sketch with highlights in blue pencil crayon, created for publication in an illustrated newspaper or magazine, probably 'The Sketch'. It is captioned 'Sign of The Cross', and shows a backstage view of the Lyric Theatre. In the foreground, backstage, are three female figures, all dressed in loose flowing gowns and shoulder capes. Between these figures and the stage stands a male figure in Roman inspired armour, and on the stage which is just visible in the background, are a male and female figure, the man holding aloft a rough cross.

The sketch was drawn by Louis Gunnis in 1896 and has been signed by the artist in the bottom right hand corner.

Place of Origin

London (drawn)

Date

1896 (drawn)

Artist/maker

Gunnis, Louis (drawn)

Materials and Techniques

pen and ink on drawing board

Marks and inscriptions

GUNNIS
Handwritten signature of artist, pen, bottom right hand corner

'Sign of the Cross'
Handwritten annotation in pencil at the bottom left hand corner of the sketch

'Behind the Scenes. V. The Lyric Theatre/Vol.XIV, p.209,1896/Christianity v. Paganism'
Handwritten annotation in pencil on the rear of the sketch.

Dimensions

Length: 41.5 cm, Width: 29.2 cm

Object history note

Sir William Ingram (27 October 1847 – 18 December 1924) was a Liberal politician who was elected to, and sat, in the House of Commons on three occassions between 1878 and 1895. He was also the Managing Director of The Illustrated London News from the late 1870s until 1900 and became the proprietor of a number of additional publications including The Sketch and The English Illustrated Magazine.

The Illustrated London News was the world's first illustrated weekly newspaper. Founded by Sir William Ingram’s father, Herbert Ingram, in 1842 the first edition was sold on 14th May 1842 at a cost of sixpence per copy. Building from an original circulation of 26,000 to in excess of 300,000 at its peak, The Illustrated London News remained in print until 2003 and commissioned illustrations from many of the leading artists of the late nineteenth century. Photographs were used alongside illustrations from the late 19th century onwards but illustrations were a major feature of paper until after the end of the First World War.

Historical context note

This sketch was one of a group of prints and pencil and pen and ink sketches donated to the museum in 1914 by Sir William Ingram (1847–1924). Part of this collection was originally donated to the Prints and Drawings Department with the majority later passing to the Theatre and Performance Department. The full collection includes work by a variety of artists amongst whom are: A. J Finberg; Ralph Cleaver; F.V.Poole and Rossi Ashton. Though not all the publications for which they were created are identified the majority of the sketches were commissioned for, and appeared in, The Illustrated London News, The English Illustrated Magazine or The Sketch.

Sir William Ingram became the proprietor of The Illustrated London News in the mid to late 1870s and remained in post until circa 1900 when he was succeeded by his he was succeeded by his son, Bruce Stirling Ingram (1877–1963). He also became the proprietor of The Sketch amongst other papers in which capacity he gave commissions to many leading artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Descriptive line

Pen and ink sketch with highlights in blue pencil crayon, created for publication in an illustrated newspaper or magazine, probably 'The Sketch'. It is captioned 'Sign of The Cross', and shows a backstage view of the Lyric Theatre. The sketch was drawn by Louis Gunnis in 1896 and has been signed by the artist in the bottom right hand corner. It was donated to the museum by Sir William Ingram in 1914.

Materials

Pen; Drawing board; Pencil crayon

Techniques

Drawn; Painted

Categories

Entertainment & Leisure; Drawings

Collection

Theatre and Performance Collection

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