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Spy (Sir Leslie Ward RP) (1851-1922)


Sir Leslie Ward, RP (1851-1922), known as ‘Spy’

For almost 40 years, Sir Leslie Ward defined the look of the society paper, Vanity Fair. His well observed, meticulously conceived cartoons permanently altered the art of caricature in England. From the cruel and often grotesque caricatures made popular by the likes of Gillray and Daumier, Leslie Ward made caricature acceptable and, indeed, necessary to the who’s who of Victorian high society.

Leslie Ward was born at Harewood Square, London (on the site of what is now Marylebone Station), on 21 November 1851. He was exposed to the artistic life from birth as his father, Edward Matthew Ward, and mother, Henrietta Ada Ward, were both professional artists. His father produced historical paintings and his mother was a fashionable painter of portraits.

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