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 Leslie (Sir) Matthew Ward  (1851 - 1922)

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Lived/Active: England      Known for: magazine cartoons and caricatures, portraits

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Ad Code: 4
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from Auction House Records.
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Caricaturist and portrait painter, Leslie Ward was born in London the son of Edward Matthew Ward (1816-1879) and Henrietta Mary Ada Ward (1832-1924), both of whom were artists. Through his mother, whose maiden name was also Ward, he was related to James Ward, Royal Academy and George Morland.

He was educated at Eton, where he drew caricatures of the masters and his peers. After a short spell studying architecture under Sydney Smirke and at the RA Schools in 1871, he became apprenticed to W. P. Frith and was soon exhibiting portraits in oil and watercolour.  In 1873, John Millais showed some of his caricatures to Thomas Gibson Bowles, who promptly commissioned him to work for Vanity Fair.

He adopted the pseudonym 'Spy' and went on to draw over 1300 caricatures and cartoons for Vanity Fair many of which anger their targets including that of Anthony Trollope. He retired from Vanity Fair in 1911. He also contributed to The Graphic, Mayfair and The World, all important periodicals of their day.

About 300 of his original drawings for Vanity Fair are in the National Portrait Gallery, London. His work is also to be found in the collection of Dumfries House, Ayrshire, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and the V&A. Ward exhibited at the RA and RP. He was elected RP in 1898 and knighted in 1918.

"Ward, Leslie Matthew, 1851-1922", Artist Biographies,

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