|Artist||Spy [Sir Leslie Ward]|
|Published||Vanity Fair, Oct 25, 1884|
|Dimensions||Image 330 x 195 mm, Sheet 405 x 275 mm|
Full length portrait of Walter Goodall George (1858 – 1943), a nineteenth-century British runner who, after setting numerous world records as an amateur, went professional in part to challenge the mile record-holder William Cummings, defeating him in several races. In one race on 23 August 1886, he set a mile record which was not surpassed for almost 30 years. It was witnessed by around 30,000 spectators. Crowds of people had been denied entry so broke through the closed entry gates and ended up completely encircling the running track both inside and out. George beat Cummings by some 65 yards in a time of 4:20 1⁄5.
Sir Leslie Matthew Ward (1851 – 1922) was a British portrait artist and caricaturist who over four decades painted 1,325 portraits which were regularly published by Vanity Fair, under the pseudonyms "Spy" and "Drawl". Such was his influence in the genre that all Vanity Fair caricatures are sometimes referred to as "Spy Cartoons" regardless of who the artist actually was. The portraits were produced as watercolours and turned into chromolithographs for publication in the magazine. These were then usually reproduced on better paper and sold as prints.
Condition: Minor tears to lower left hand margin.