Catalogue entry

N04609 THE FAT WOMAN 1894
 
Inscr. on reverse, ‘A mon ami Will Rothenstein Aubrey Beardsley fec. et don.’ and, over a caricature of a Queen Victoria penny stamp, ‘Received by Will Rothenstein’. Indian ink, 7×6 3/8 (17·75×16·25).
Presented by Colonel James Lister Melvill at the request of his brother Harry Edward Melvill 1931.
Coll: Sir William Rothenstein; ? returned to the artist; ...; Miss K. Savile Clarke (Mrs Cyril Martineau) by 1897; Harry Melvill.
Lit: Vallance in Fifty Drawings, 1897, p.208, repr. facing p. 135; E. R. and J. Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 1908, II, p. 140; Vallance in Ross, 1909, p.87, No.83; Robert Speaight, William Rothenstein: The Portrait of an Artist in his Time, 1962, p.120.
Repr: Later Work, 1901, pl.61; Early Work, 1920 ed., pl.138.

A caricature of Whistler's wife, first published in To-Day, 21 May 1894. Cf. ‘Waiting’, published in Bon Mots, 1893–4 (repr. Walker, 1923, No.27). Sir William Rothenstein, to whom the drawing was given, was a close friend of the artist and had the use of his studio 1893–4. According to Speaight he returned the drawing to Beardsley, from whom his son Sir John Rothenstein states that it was subsequently stolen.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I