Two English Gentlemen
William Nicholson (artist) and Max Beerbohm (caricaturist) were good friends who met for breakfast once a month. Both were aware of their appearance and dressed well… two very English gentlemen.
'They were curiously alike in their fastidiousness, sensitivity and whimsicality' said Lillian Browse (gallery owner Queen of Cork Street, London).
Beerbohm had a mischievous wit. The story goes that one evening his late supper was being ruined by a raucous fellow at a table nearby who kept calling for the waiter. 'What do you have to do', finally demanded the loud man, 'to get a glass of water in this joint?'. The distinguished Beerbohn turned steel-like eyes on him, and said quietly, 'Why don't you try setting yourself on fire?'
When Beerbohm emigrated to Italy, Nicholson used his top hat, as seen in the painting, to store his paintbrushes.
Painting by William Nicholson of Max Beerbohm, c.1905