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Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1855-1938) - 19th Century Etching, A Breton Beggar



A very finely executed etching of a weary man, by the well listed artist Mortimer Luddington Menpes RE RBA RI NEAC. Signed within the plate line to the lower right corner. The substrate bears the watermark 'MBM Portfolio'. Signed in plate. On watermarked laid.


In fine condition.


16.5 x 12.9cm (6.5" x 5.1")
Sheet: 46.2 x 32.2cm (18.2" x 12.7")
Plate: 21.5 x 13.5cm (8.5" x 5.3")

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Artist Biography

Mortimer Luddington Menpes was a painter and etcher, born in Port Adelaide, Australia. He studied at the Adelaide School of Design, and in London under Sir Edward Poynter at the Royal College of Art. Menpes became a close friend and protégé of Whistler in the 1880's and helped print his master's Venice etchings. In 1888 he visited Japan which had a big influence on his art. He travelled widely in Europe, visiting also India and the Far East. In 1904 Menpes wrote and published 'Whistler as I Knew Him', a vigorous and interesting story of his relationship with Whistler as both pupil and friend. He began to show at the Royal Academy in 1880 and was elected Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers in 1881, Royal Society of British Artists in 1885, New English Art Club in 1886, Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, 1897 and Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1899. He also showed at the Baillie Gallery, Dudley Gallery, Fine Art Society, Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, Leicester Galleries, New Gallery, and more than 600 pictures at Dowdeswell and Dowdeswell.

During the Boer War, Menpes was sent to South Africa acting as a war artist for the weekly illustrated magazine Black and White. After the war was over he travelled extensively visiting Burma, Egypt, France, India, Italy, Japan, Kashmir, Mexico, Morocco, and Spain. Many of his illustrations were published in travel books by A & C Black. His book on the Delhi Durbar was an illustrated record of the commemoration in Delhi of the coronation of King Edward VII. For the last 30 or so years of his life, Menpes retired to Pangbourne from where he established and ran 'Menpes Fruit Farms'. Examples of his work are in the collections of the British Museum, Guildhall Art Gallery, Hunterian, Museums Sheffield, Tate Gallery, Torre Abbey Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum and the Bibliotheque des Arts Decoratif, Paris. various sites state his birth year as 1856, 57 or 58. Australian government records give 1855 as being correct.

More Information
Code pt097
Artist Mortimer Luddington Menpes (1855-1938)
Date 19th Century
Dimensions 16.5 x 12.9cm
Medium Etching
Style Realism
Subject Portrait
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