Linley Sambourne and Punch
Linley Sambourne worked for the weekly
satirical magazine ‘Punch’ from 1867 until his death in 1910. Punch
had been founded in 1841 and soon became one of the most popular
and prestigious periodicals of its time. Members of staff who wrote
the articles and provided illustrations quickly became minor
celebrities. John Leach, Charles Keene, George du Maurier, Phil
May, John Tenniel and Sambourne himself were all household names
during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.
The Punch staff met at their office
every Wednesday evening to discuss what material should go into the
next edition. The subject and captions for the various drawings
would be settled over a convivial dinner – everybody made
suggestions, helped by plenty of liquid refreshment – and by next
morning the artists would have decided
how to best illustrate their chosen
The drawing, called a ‘cartoon’ or a ‘cut’ had
to be finished by Friday evening when it went to the engravers. Up
to 1898 Punch appeared on Saturdays (10 days after the subject had
been decided) but from 1899 onwards the lead time was shortened to
a week, the paper coming out on Wednesday. The subject was liable
to be overtaken by event, as on the famous occasion in 1902 when
Edward VII’s coronation was postponed due to him suddenly falling
ill with acute appendicitis.
In his early work Sambourne drew in a style which was often
fantastical or grotesque, but by the mid 80’s he had been converted
to realism. For this photography was to be a wonderful
aide. Using models (amateur and professional) he would create
posed photographs which he would use to draw from; a single
cartoon could potentially combine up to several poses.
Follow 18 Stafford Terrace - Historic House's board Fa-fa-fa-fa-fashion! on Pinterest.
Follow 18 Stafford Terrace - Historic House's board Punch's Fancy Portraits on Pinterest.