|William Harcourt Hooper after Fred Walker
|Image 188 x 112 mm, Sheet 189 x 112 mm
Walker designed this striking poster for Wilkie Collins' play after attending a celebration dinner for The Woman in White in 1860. Walker was also a friend of Charley and Kate Collins, and the preliminary sketch was made at their house in Thurloe Place. It was the first time that a well-known artist had been commissioned to design a theatre poster and Wilkie was said to be delighted with it.
Frederick Walker (1840-1875) was a London-based painter and illustrator in watercolours and oils. He was first apprenticed to the engraver, Josiah Wood, and his engravings were published in magazines including Good Words, Once a Week and Everybody's Journal. William Makepeace Thackeray used his illustrations for his new journal, the Cornhill Magazine. This included the illustrations for Thackeray's novel, the Adventures of Philip, published 1862. Walker studied at the Royal Academy Schools, and exhibited at the Summer Exhibition and with the Royal Water-Colour Society. His paintings show a deep concern for the under-privileged, and he is acknowledged as the leader of what became known as the English Social Realist school of painting. He had a tremendous influence on young artists such as Luke Fildes, Frank Holl and Hubert von Herkomer.
Condition: Diagonal creases to the top right and bottom left of sheet not affecting image.