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Charles Samuel Keene (10 Aug. 1823 – 4 Jan. 1891); English artist and illustrator, who worked in black and white.
...Keene, who never had any regular art training, was essentially an artist's artist. He holds the foremost place among English craftsmen in black and white, though his work has never been appreciated at its real value by the general public. No doubt the main reason for this lack of public recognition was his unconventionality. He drew his models exactly as he saw them, not as he knew the world wanted to see them. He found enough beauty and romance in all that was around him, and, in his Punch work, enough subtle humor in nature seized at her most humorous moments to satisfy him.... But Keene was not only a brilliant worker in pen and ink. As an etcher he has also to be reckoned with, notwithstanding the fact that his plates numbered not more than 50 at the outside. Impressions of them are exceedingly rare, and hardly half a dozen of the plates were known to be in existence as of 1911. He himself regarded them only as experiments in a difficult but fascinating medium. But in the opinion of the expert they suffice to place him among the best etchers of the 19th century. Apart from the etched frontispieces to some of the Punch pocket-books, only three, and these by no means the best, have been published. Writing in L'Artiste of a few which he had seen, Félix Bracquemond says: "By the freedom, the largeness of their drawing and execution, these plates must be classed amongst modern etchings of the first rank." A few impressions are in the British Museum, but in the main they were given away to friends and lie hidden in the albums of the collector. The painter Walter Sickert cites Keene often in his book "A Free House! or the Artist as Craftsman" edited by Osbert Sitwell.... "And so, from the incised designs on bones scratched by primeval man, to the drawings of Charles Keene, has line been the...