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W.E.Henley (1849-1903) was a poet and writer on modern art. He edited the magazine 'New Review', for which he commissioned in 1897 Nicholson's well known woodcut of Queen Victoria. This portrait of Henley, painted in the last years of his life, was probably paid for by a group of his friends. He was the model for the pirate Long John Silver in Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Treasure Island'. He walked with a stick, shown here on a table in front of him.
In another picture Nicholson sought to capture Henley's personality by painting his lopsided hat, on its own.

September 2004