Invitation Card for Mr. Arthur Lewis by Fred Walker, a wood-engraving, January 1867. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

This is the third such design Walker executed for London man-about-town Arthur Lewis. Claude Phillips in the Portfolio described Walker's style as "but ever so slightly, some Anacreontic scene from a red-on-black vase" (cited in Marks, 97). Specifically, Walker is parodying the style of classical Greek pottery known as "Black Attic Ware" (circa 6th c. BCE) and perhaps even John Keats's "Ode of a Grecian Urn," with its Bacchic dancers and musicians. In a letter to his friend W. H. Hooper, Walker describes "fancy figures on a black background, similar to those on an old Etruscan vase; and in that case it would be well to have the card of a dull red, the figures and writing showing red, the rest of course being black. I went to-day to the British Museum, and think that something done on this plan would be novel" (cited in Marks, 97).

Scanned image and text by Philip V. Allingham. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


Marks, John George. Life and Letters of Frederick Walker, A. R. A.. London and New York: Macmillan, 1896.

Phillips, Claude. Invitation Card by Walker. Frederick Walker and His Works. London: Seeley & Co., 1905 [re-issue of the 1894 edition], facing page 38.

Reid, Forrest. Illustrators of the Eighteen Sixties: An Illustrated Survey of the Work of 58 British Artists. New York: Dover, 1975. Originally published by Faber and Gwyer in London, 1928, as Illustrators of the Sixties.

Last modified 15 July 2018