Frank Brangwyn

Frank Brangwyn by Phillip William May, RI, RP, 1854-1903. Inscribed on an old mount 'Frank Brangwyn by Phil May 1885'. Pencil, 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 inches. Provenance: Given to Mr H.P. Gilbert by Brangwyn, inherited by Mrs. Jervis and Miss Griffiths, given to J. Homery Folkes, 5 October 1946.

Comentary by Rupert Maas

In order to pursue his aspirations to be a painter, the illustrator and cartoonist Phil May and his wife went on holiday in France with May's friend Brangwyn in 1896. According to Brangwyn, despite good intentions of painting hard all day every day, the two would often spend days drinking and sketching at a cafe instead. May, with characteristic generosity, would stand drinks for all and sundry, and although very little progress was made at painting, a very convivial time was had by both.

The age of Brangwyn in this wonderfully proficient drawing is more likely to fit with the French trip in 1896, when Brangwyn was 32, than the date given on the old mount of 1885 when Brangwyn was only 21, but it could have been drawn later still.

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Maas, Rupert. British Pictures. London: The Maas Gallery. 2006. Catalogue number 31.

Last modified 13 August 2006