George Belcher (1875-1947)
Etching of the boxer Pat O’Keeffe
A modern pull from the original plate
Inscribed in the plate: Drawn and etched by George Belcher March 1918
Titled: THE WILD IRISHMAN/ at the/ NATIONAL SPORTING CLUB/ taken from life. Pat O’Keeffe
One of a series of character studies produced for the National Sporting Club, 1917-1921
paper size: 45.2 x 33.5 cm
plate size: 34.0 x 23.0 cm
George Belcher R.A. (1875-1947) was a British cartoonist, etcher and painter. He worked most famously and consistently for Punch magazine, as well as the Tatler and Vanity Fair, and exhibited extensively from 1909. His portraits, always drawn from life, were held in high esteem. His work is held in public collections throughout the UK, including the British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Council and many others.
The National Sporting Club, the precursor organisation to the British Boxing Board of Control, was established in 1891, and became the most important force in the structuring and development of British boxing. George Belcher’s series of character portraits of both boxers and officials was undertaken from 1917, and became his most celebrated set of etchings.