Source: The Bristol Mercury and Daily Post (Bristol, England), Tuesday, January 6, 1891, p. 8; Issue 13307 — Charles Keene dead
1167208Charles Keene dead1891
Charles Keene dead.
The death is announced of Mr. Charles S. Keene, whose sketeched in "Punch," signed with the well known initials "C.K.," will be familiar to most people. For three years he has been in failing health, and during the past few weeks he has been constantly attended by an old servant, to whom he was much attached. He died on Sunday morning at the residence of his sister at Hammersmith, Mr Keenr who never married, was born at Hornsey in 1823, and received his education at the grammar school in Ipswich, on leaving school he entered the office of his father, a solicitor in Furinval's Inn. His artistic tendencies, however, soon caused him to give up his appointment, and he was apprenticed to Messrs. Whymper, a firm of word engravers, for whom, among other works, he designed a series of illustrations for ad edition of "Robinson Crusoe." When his term of service was concluded, he became a contributor to several periodicals—notably the "Illustrated London News" and "Once a Week." His connection with "Punch" began with the acceptance of certain designs for initial letters and tailpieces; and in the early part of 1850 he became permanently attached to the staff, then under the direction of Douglas Jerrold. It was only, however, after the death of John Leech that he became one of the principal contributors to its page. The only artistic training Mr Keene ever received was at the Life School, then situated in Clipstone street, Fitzroy square, but which has since removed to Langham Studios. His last drawing in "Punch" appeared on August 15th of last year, and was entitled "Arry on the Boulevards." Among the stories which he illustrated during his connection with "Once a Week" were Charles Reade's "The Cloister and the Heath" and "He would be a Gentleman." A volume containing many of his "Punch" drawings appeared in 1881 under the title of "Our People." Mr Keene was of so retiring a disposition that, as far as he could prevent it, no drawing of his were ever sold or exhibited in public. He was essentially the artist of the middle and lower classes, and drew with unerring and not unkindly appreciation the well-to-do city man, and the gay young clerk, the medical student, the old lady of the omnibus, the railway porter, the cabdriver., 'Arry and 'Arriet, and the street ragamuffin. With all these ad many more his pencil was perfectly familiar. What could be better than Mr Keene's athletic curate announcing that 'Hear endeth the first innings," or his young man in "Angling Extraordinary" who runs into a shop with "A box of gentles, please; and look sharp—I want to catch a 'bus"? Besides his black and white work he did very little, but several large drawings of incident in the Crimean War, executed for a private commission, show that, had he transferred his energies, he could have made his mark in other and more serious branches of his art.