George Du Maurier

Download image: 
George Du Maurier
Umbrella on the Brain
Pen and brown ink on wove paper.
9 13/16 x 8 7/16 inches (250 x 214 mm)
The Joseph F. McCrindle Collection.

Inscribed lower right in pen and brown ink, "Du Maurier"; Right third of sheet trimmed off and inscribed in graphite and pen and brown ink, "Umbrella on the Brain / Owing to the weather, & for various other reasons, the Browns [?] are prevented this year from taking their continental trip-- / Very much to Mrs. Browns' disappointment, who [?] dreams that the family umbrellas have been converted / into [...]

Laurie Vance Johnson, Princeton, New Jersey; from whom acquired by Joseph F. McCrindle, New York, 22 August 1974 (McCrindle collection no. A0672).

The present sheet with its inscription in pen and brown ink speaks of the disappointment of a missed seasonal tour to continental Europe. As Richard Kelly, a scholar on Du Maurier noted, the inclusion of the umbrella in the drawing is consistent both with the artist's fascination with umbrellas and the setting like Du Maurier's other "dreamscapes" (email correspondence, July 2012).
Du Maurier produced drawings and woodcuts of pictorial social satire that often commented on the Victorian social milieu of his day. Rendered with a graceful line, over a thousand images by him were produced for Punch, where he worked as a staff social cartoonist from 1860. The sheet's companion page notes the caption and gives instructions to "reduce to 1/2 page Punch, Aug 16 1879," indicating that the image appeared in the magazine on or around that date.

Associated names: 

Johnson, Laurie Vance, former owner.
McCrindle, Joseph F., former owner.

Artist page: