Rev. Frederick Temple, Just, by Ward, 1902.
Rev. Frederick Temple, Just by Leslie Matthew Ward, published in Vanity Fair, 1902.
This caricature was published in Vanity Fair, in 1902. The subject, or 'victim', is Rev. Frederick Temple, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the caricature was published just three months prior to his death. It is a chromolithograph of Ward's original watercolor sketch. Ward's signature "Spy" is clearly visible in the lower foreground.
Vanity Fair owed a great deal of its success to caricatures like this one by Ward and other artists. Founded by Thomas Gibson Bowles the first edition was published on November 7, 1868, and did not include any images. Despite containing theatre and literary reviews along with commentary of the week's events, the magazine struggled at first against its competitors. Bowles then announced that the magazine would start to include 'pictorial wares.' The first caricature appeared on January 30, 1869. It was drawn by Carlo Pellegrini, under the name Singe, and featured Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli. Since it was unusual in England to use chromolithography for this kind of subject matter, the caricatures helped set the magazine apart and increase its popularity. A number of artists contributed caricatures of statesmen, nobility, athletes, etc., to Vanity Fair throughout its life span and the victims came to regard being caricatured as a mark of honor.
Reverend Frederick Temple (1821-1902) was an energetic and dedicated man. While at Blundell's School, it became apparent that Frederick wished to pursue an ecclesiastical career instead of becoming a farmer, as his father had intended. He earned a scholarship that allowed him to enroll at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1842 he was elected a fellow of Balliol and lecturer in mathematics and logic. During his time at Balliol, the newly formed Tractarian Movement influenced him. Temple was ordained in 1846 and took the headship of the teacher training college established by the government at Kneller Hall. Aimed at teaching masters of workhouses and penal schools it was not a success and closed in 1856. Two years later he went to teach at Rugby. While there he worked tirelessly to improve the school's academic reputation, emphasizing the classics and natural science. He soon became popular among the students despite his somewhat rough and intimidating manner. Shortly after he started working at Rugby, Temple was involved in a controversy surrounding the publication Essays and Reviews (1860). Several essays in the work were considered heretical and caused much outrage among church leaders. Temple's essay was considered harmless, but he was tainted by association, having refused to admonish the other contributors. Nine years later, he was involved in another debate, this time centered around his appointment to the bishopric of Exeter. As energetic and zealous as ever he eventually overcame the prejudices against him. In 1896, Temple was made Archbishop of Canterbury and he held the position until his death.
Sir Leslie Matthew Ward (1851-1922) was a prolific caricaturist, producing more than one thousand caricatures for Vanity Fair during his long association with the company. Born into an artistic family, his parents encouraged him to draw, sculpt, and paint. Since both of his parents maintained studios in their home, Ward was in constant contact with eminent members of the artistic community. While studying at Eton, he began to caricature his classmates and professors. After leaving the school he spent a year working in the office of architect Sydney Smirke, upon his father's insistence. Through the intervention of another family friend, Edward Ward was persuaded to allow his son to study art instead and in 1871 Leslie entered the Royal Academy Schools. Two years later he was introduced to Thomas Bowles and became a regular contributor to Vanity Fair. His nom de crayon was Spy, or occasionally Drawl, and the caricatures from the era are often referred to a Spy cartoons.
- Naomi Bean