Distinguished Professionals

Distinguished Professionals. From English Society. Sketched by George du Maurier. Click on image to enlarge it.

Hostess (to host, after dinner).— “George, dear, how about asking Signor Robsonio and Signora Smithorelli to sing? They’ll be mortally offended if we do, and they’ll be mortally offended if we don’t!”

Distinguished Professionals stands out as something of a departure for du Maurier, since most of his satiric cartoons about art and audience take the vantage point of painter and performer. Here he shows the difficulties patrons encounter. This cartoon also a adds another satiric layer with the names of the performers, who have English names (Thompson and Smith) to which Italian endings have been added, suggesting perhaps that these singers of classical music only pretend to be foreigners, since Italian opera singers had particular prestige. Typical of the cartoons in English Society, here the English hosts take the form of a very handsome man and beautiful woman while the outsiders certainly appear to be far less attractive.

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Scanned image and text by George P. Landow [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]


English Society. Sketched by George du Maurier. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1897.

Created 1 July 2001

Last modified 30 April 2020