The Definitive Resource Of Oscar Wilde's Visits To America

George du Maurier parody of the Aesthetic Movement


(With Verses by Jelleby Postlethwaite, who is also said to have sat for the Picture.)

Punch, June 5, 1880, p. 254

The cartoon depicts an androgynous Wilde-like figure along with allusions to Wilde and Whistler such as the butterfly motif and the W configuration of the bird. The cartoonist, George du Maurier, continued his parody of the Aesthetic Movement with imaginary characters including Maudle, Postlethwaite, Grigsby, Prigsby et al. In an interview shortly after his arrival in America, Oscar told the press: “I suppose that I am the original of Maudle, the poet.” [1] In fact, Wilde was in error: Postlethwaite was the poet, and Maudle the artist.


The Colonel


James McNeil Whistler

George du Maurier

[1] New York Tribune, January 8, 1882, 7. 

Oscar Wilde In America | © John Cooper, 2024