N04266 BARNEY SHEPPARD SINGS IN THE GLOAMING (?) c. 1889–90
Inscr. ‘Phil May’ and ‘Barney Sheppard sings in the gloaming’ b.l.
Pen and blue chalk, 6 5/8×10 3/8 (17×26·5).
Purchased from James A. Simpson (Duveen Drawings Fund) 1927.
Lit: Thorpe, 1932, pp.31–2, 66.
The drawing is corrected and further inscribed on the right ‘ 1/2 page’ and ‘duller tint on background leaving out figures and music and piano go right over piano’.
Thorpe surmises that N04266–N04268 were made, though not used, for ‘The Parson and the Painter’, which first appeared weekly in The St Stephen's Review in 1889 and 1890 and was published as a book in 1891. This was an account, written by Alfred Allison, of the visits to theatrical and sporting resorts in London and elsewhere of a country parson and his more sophisticated artist nephew. This drawing would appear to show the parson, the Rev. Joseph Slapkins, on the left and his nephew Charlie Summers in evening dress on the right. They also appear in an unfinished sketch on the back as spectators at a boxing match at the National Sporting Club; this is a drawing in blue chalk, only the two boxes with spectators in the upper left having been finished in pen and ink.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II