Sir Max Beerbohm (British 1852-1956)

framed image


A bust of Aristotle with a portrait of A.B. Walkley leaning against its pedestal Signed and inscribed l.r.: Max/Mr A B/Walkley, pen and black ink and grey wash

29.6 x 12.5 cm; 11 5/8 x 4 7/8 inches 

Frame size 41.5 x 28.5 cm.; 16 3/8 x 11 1/4 inches


A.B. Walkley, 1904; Sotheby’s, London, 13 May 1959

Rupert Hart-Davis, A Catalogue of the Caricatures of Max Beerbohm, 1972, no. 1729

Walkley wrote to Beerbohm in May 1904 saying, “I have just bought your caricature of Aristotle-but who is the midget clinging to A’s pedestal?‘. 

Arthur Bingham Walkley (1855-1926) was a civil servant and journalist, best known as theatre critic for ‘The Times’. In 1911 Shaw parodied his friend Walkley as the pompous theatre critic Mr Trotter in ‘Fanny's First Play’. Walkley was in on the joke and helped Claude King, the actor playing Trotter, to mimic his personal appearance. He was not enthusiastic about avant garde drama nor did he like to be asked to review productions beyond the West End.