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Jan Kubelik 'Kubelik'

Spy (Sir Leslie Ward) (1851-1922)



Watercolour and bodycolour on tinted paper

12 ½ x 7 ¾ inches

Vanity Fair, 7 May 1903, Men of The Day no 877, 'Kubelik'

Chris Beetles & Alexander Beetles (eds.) Portraits of Vanity Fair: The Charles Sigety Collection, London: Chris Beetles Ltd, 2023, page 155

'Portraits of Vanity Fair: The Charles Sigety Collection', Chris Beetles Gallery, London, October-November 2023, no 75

Jan Kubelik (1880-1940) was a Czech violinist who toured the world as a soloist from 1898. After debuting in Vienna, he first played in London in 1900 at a Hans Richter concert, before touring the USA in 1901. He returned to London later the same year with the Royal Philharmonic Society and was award the society’s Gold Medal in 1902. Later that year, he was credited with bringing the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to London through his own financial assistance.

“He was only born, in Michle, three-and-twenty years ago, yet he has drawn sweeter strains from the strings of a violin than any other player of our time. His father was a market gardener in Bohemia; but the son was sent to practise at the Prague Conservatoire. At eighteen he began to give recitals which drew the world; he has since

travelled all over Europe, conquering each capital in turn, and through America; earning acclamation, and winning Orders and Distinctions everywhere. England loves him and America runs after him; so that he is reputed to have made several fortunes. This is because there is genius in him; which is possibly aided by a striking personality. To hear him play is a revelation; to watch his modest demeanour when he finishes amid applause that would swell most heads is another: for his Art is his mistress and he is not to be easily spoiled.

He is a quiet, amiable, unassuming fellow, who is promised in marriage to a charming lady.”

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