Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (drawn)

  • Date:

    1907 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Binns, L.J. (drawn)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    pencil, pen and ink and watercolour

  • Credit Line:

    Gabrielle Enthoven Collection

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This caricature is one of several drawn by L.J. Binns in the early 20th century of performers including Henry Irving, Dan Leno, George Robey and Albert Chevalier. As well as theatrical subjects, Binns drew cartoons of political figures, and was associated with two predominant caricaturists of this period, Sir Francis Carruthers Gould and Harry Furniss.

This is the larger of two versions of Henry Irving (1838-1905), the actor-manager of the Lyceum theatre, as Richard III, one of his favourite roles which he first played in January 1877. He played him as a blustering bully, or as Clement Scott described it: 'a truculent tyrant, who stamped about the stage in scarlet doublet and flapping russet boots, and black ringlet wig and bushy eyebrows, supposed to symbolize in their hue the darkness of his deeds of villainy'. Scott thought his Richard was Irving's greatest triumph as an actor: 'intelligent, carefully wrought and convincing'.

Physical description

Pencil, pen and ink and wash caricature of Henry Irving as Richard III, in profile, walking to his left, holding a rapier in his right hand, his outsize head on a long neck held well in front of his thin body. He is depicted wearing a brown doublet with fur collar and slashed sleeve detail, and spindly legs in brown tights. Signed 'LBINNS' in capital letters lower right, the B of Binns incorporating a J as a middle initial. Titled in capital letters "RICHARD THE THIRD", with a stamp in red ink below that of the Enthoven Collection.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (drawn)


1907 (drawn)


Binns, L.J. (drawn)

Materials and Techniques

pencil, pen and ink and watercolour

Marks and inscriptions

In ochre-coloured ink

Red oval stamp, bottom right hand corner.


Height: 32.0 cm, Width: 23.4 cm

Object history note

Henry Irving played Richard , Duke of Gloucester in Richard III at the Lyceum Theatre, in a production which opened on the 29 January 1877 under Bateman's management, and in a revival at the Lyceum which opened on 19 December 1896. He only played it for one night on that occasion however, since her broke a bone in his knee when he slipped down some stairs at his Grafton Street apartment. The production was replaced by a revival of Cymbeline.

Descriptive line

Caricature of Henry Irving (1838-1905) as Richard, Duke of Gloucester in Richard III which Irving played at the Lyceum Theatre in 1877 and for one night in 1896. Pencil, pen, ink and watercolour by L.J. Binns.

Production Note

Dated verso in ink May 10, 1907


Pencil; Pen and ink; Watercolour


Drawing (image-making)


Entertainment & Leisure


Theatre and Performance Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.