|This is a variant commissioned in 1912 for the subject's widow, the Dowager Queen Alexandra.|
|Fildes' preparatory sketch of 1901.|
Sir Samuel Luke Fildes (3 October 1843, Liverpool – 28 February 1927, Kensington, London), English painter and illustrator. The grandson of political and social activist Mary Fildes, he spent the early part of his career as an illustrator for weekly London newspapers, publications that most often focused on the plight of the poor and other social ills. He gradually branched out into book illustration; before his death, Charles Dickens commissioned Fildes to illustrate his final, unfinished, novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. By around 1870 he had given up his newspaper work to focus on painting. The majority of his work still reflected contemporary social concerns, but he also produced lighter genre subjects and became successful as a portrait painter. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1879, a Royal Academician in 1887, and was knighted by King Edward VII in 1906. In 1918, he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by King George V. He died in London at the age of eighty-three.
|King George V, 1911-12.|
|Fildes' preparatory sketch, circa 1911.|