Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/409

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CHAPTER XV.


JOHN LEECH (Continued).


Giovanni. What do the dead do, uncle?—do they eat,
 Hear music, go a hunting, and be merry, 
 As we that live?
Francesco de Medicis. No, Cuz; they sleep.
Giov. …When do they wake?
Frances. When God shall please.

Webster's White Devil; or, Vittoria Corombona (1612), Act 3.


Many of our readers will remember the exhibition at the Egyptian Hall, in 1862, of John Leech's "Sketches in Oil," the subjects being enlarged reproductions from selected examples of his minor drawings for Punch. To his friend Mark Lemon is due the credit of this idea, which was carried out after the following manner: The impression of a block in Punch being first taken on a sheet of india-rubber, was enlarged by a lithographic process; the copy thus obtained was transferred to stone, and impressions obtained on a large sheet of canvas. The result was an outline groundwork, consisting of his own lines enlarged some eight times the dimensions of the original drawing, which the artist then proceeded to fill up in colour. His knowledge of the manipulation of oil colours was, however, slight, and his first crude attempts were made under the guidance of his friend Mr. Millais. The first results can scarcely be said to be satisfactory; a kind of transparent colour was used, which allowed the coarse lines of the enlargement to be distinctly visible, and the finished production presented very much the appearance of an indifferent lithograph slightly tinted. In a short time, however, he conquered the difficulty; and, instead of allowing the thick, fatty

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