Fiji, Levuka, The Graphic Magazine, c1887
Original Print from The Graphic Magazine in 1887
Publisher: Published in Melbourne
Paper Size: 150 x 105mm
Technique: Wood engraving with later hand colouring
The Graphic was a British weekly illustrated newspaper, first published on 4 December 1869 by William Luson Thomas’s Company, Illustrated Newspapers Ltd. Thomas's brother Lewis Samuel Thomas was a co-founder. The premature death of the latter in 1872 "as one of the founders of this newspaper, [and who] took an active interest in its management" left a marked gap in the early history of the publication. It was set up as a rival to the popular Illustrated London News.
It continued to be published weekly under this title until 23 April 1932 and then changed title to The National Graphic between 28 April and 14 July 1932; it then ceased publication, after 3,266 issues. From 1890 until 1926, Luson Thomas's company, H. R. Baines & Co., published The Daily Graphic.
Thomas was a successful artist, wood-engraver and social reformer. Earlier he, his brother and his brother-in-law had been persuaded to go to New York and assist in launching two newspapers, Picture Gallery and Republic. Thomas also had an engraving establishment of his own and, aided by a large staff, illustrated and engraved numerous standard works.
Exasperated, even angered, by the unsympathetic treatment of artists by the world's most successful illustrated paper, The Illustrated London News, and having a good business sense Luson Thomas resolved to set up in opposition. His illustrated paper, despite being more expensive than its competition, became an immediate success.
When it began in 1869, the newspaper was printed in a rented house. By 1882, the company owned three buildings and twenty printing presses, and employed more than 1,000 people
The Graphic was published on a Saturday and its original cover price was sixpence, while the Illustrated London News was fivepence. In its first year, it described itself to advertisers as "a superior illustrated weekly newspaper, containing twenty-four pages imperia folio, printed on fine toned paper of beautiful quality, made expressly for the purpose and admirably adapted for the display of wood engraving.
In addition to its home market the paper had subscribers all around the British Empire and North America. The Graphic covered home news and news from around the Empire, and devoted much attention to literature, arts, sciences, the fashionable world, sport, music and opera. Royal occasions and national celebrations and ceremonials were also given prominent coverage.
William Hatherell (1855-1928) was an English painter and illustrator who worked in genres including history painting, Arthurian legend, and the sentimental.
William Hatherell was born in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, on 18 October 1855. He studied art at the Royal Academy Schools from 1877 to 1879.
From the 1880s he created illustrations for magazines such as The Graphic, and The Harpers New Monthly Magazine. He became a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in watercolour in 1888 and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1898. He joined the Langham Sketching Club in 1900. He became a member of the Royal West of England Academy Bristol, in 1903, and of the American Society of Illustrators in 1905. He worked in genres including history painting Arthurian legend, and the sentimental.
Hatherell illustrated a variety of books, making 22 watercolours for Hodder's edition of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. He illustrated Thomas Hardy’s “The Fiddler of the Reels” in 1893, and Jude the Obscure when it was brought out in twelve parts in Harper's New Monthly Magazine from December 1894 to November 1895.
He travelled to Australia on a commission from Cassell's to create illustrations for their 1890 book Picturesque Australasia. He returned to live in Brondesbury in northwest London, creating a garden that often forms the background in his paintings of the period.
He died in London on 7 December 1928.