Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)

A Nymph, circa 1906

SKU: 10126
Signed with monogram, titled to reverse. Hand coloured woodcut.

Height – 12.8cm x Width – 10.2cm


Private collection

This hand-coloured woodcut was conceived at the same time as  Marion Wallace-Dunlop’s series Devils in Divers Shapes.  During  the same period she was one of the key figures in the women’s suffrage movement,  responsible for the first hunger strike campaign (July of 1909).  Previously, she led other protests, including women’s deputations to Parliament and stamping messages in violet ink on the walls of Westminster (she is memorialised in the stained glass in St. Stephen’s Porch), and, later, massive street processions ‚Äì each conceived to capture headlines and stir emotions.

Her rare 1905 prints similarly evoke outrage, humour and impishness. A devotee of faery lore, the Celtic twilight and fine art, Wallace-Dunlop grew up near Inverness and descended from the rebel family of William of Wallace. Trained in fine art, Wallace-Dunlop set up her studio in 1890s London, out of which she painted portraits and watercolours, illustrated children’s books and published cartoons in Punch and elsewhere. After 1906, however, she turned her classical training in painting and printmaking to the service of the militant women’s suffrage movement. Along with the Pankhursts in the Women’s Social and Political Union, she directed the creation of tapestries, banners and prints.

These diminutive devils fascinate because they seem to embody full emotions ‚Äì from deep outrage to mild distemper, wild surprise to joyful and proud self-regard ‚Äì with a measure of innocence. These ‚Äúdivers‚Äù, androgynous, and sometimes amphibious creatures are never bashful and are in full command of their moments. Their emotionality distinguishes them from the urbane and decadent illustrations of her contemporaries William Strang and Aubrey Beardsley. Like them, Wallace-Dunlop’s imagination did not peddle morality over passion, but unlike their works, Devils in Divers Shapes unapologetically revels in both soulful silliness and emotive energy.

Commentary by Joseph Lennon, Associate Dean, Emily C. Riley Director of Irish Studies and Professor of English at Villanova University. He has written two books – Irish Orientalism: A Literary and Intellectual History (2008) and Fell Hunger (2011). His current project focuses on the origins of the modern hunger strike.


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Marion Wallace Dunlop
Wallace Dunlop
1864 - 1942

Marion Wallace-Dunlop was a portrait painter, figurative artist,
illustrator and ardent feminist. While studying at the Slade
School of Fine Art, recognition of her talent resulted in the
commissioning, (in 1899), of two illustrated books: Fairies, Elves
and Flower Babies
and The Magic Fruit Garden. She exhibited
with the Paris Salon, the RA (1903, 1905, 1906) and the RGI

Fiercely devoted to the fight for women’s rights, she
dedicated much of her career, and life, to the suffrage movement.
After joining the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1908 she
was soon arrested for ‘obstruction’, and was the first suffragette to
go on hunger strike while imprisoned in 1909. She also directed
the creation of banners, tapestries and prints to call for women’s
right to vote, particularly the ‘Women’s Coronation Procession’
in 1911.


SKU: 11170

Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)

A Yawning Demon from Devils in Diverse Shapes, circa 1906


SKU: 11167

Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)

Bacchus, from Devils in Diverse Shapes, circa 1906


SKU: 11169

Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)

A Slumbering Demon, from Devils in Diverse Shapes, circa 1906


SKU: 11161

Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)

A Google-Eyed Demon, from Devils in Diverse Shapes, circa 1906


SKU: 11163

Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)

A Nymph from Devils in Diverse Shapes, circa 1906


SKU: 11164

Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)

Roaring and grinning Devils in Diverse Shapes


SKU: 10127

Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)

A Glaring Demon, (blue and yellow) from Devils in Diverse Shapes, circa 1906
SKU: 10119

Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)

Bacchus, (turquoise ground), circa 1906