Richard Warren

"Clearly I tap to you clearly along the plumbing of the world" (W S Graham)

Attempts at Tyros





And very much attempts. The reference is to Wyndham Lewis’s 1920 drawings and paintings of “Tyros” – “immense novices” who “brandish their appetites in their faces, lay bare their teeth in a valedictory, inviting, or merely substantial laugh”. Lewis’s Tyros display the authentic rictus grin; mine only manage to snarl or look puzzled. One does not aim to imitate Lewis’s style (a hell of a lot harder than it looks, anyway), but it might be nice to achieve something of his economy. The relation between some of his work and cartoons is an interesting one.


2 responses to “Attempts at Tyros

  1. Alan Munton January 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    Not bad, though! Better cartoon style than I see daily in the Independent, the Times, the Mail (not that I read the Mail much). The only exception is the great Steve Bell in the Guardian – who is not like this anyway.

    The Tyros (no apostrophe) had predecessors in the Timon series of 1913. The originals have been rediscovered at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC: go to

    You can see every stroke of the pen.

  2. richardawarren January 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks, Alan. Yes, I hadn’t made that connection – the toothy “soldier” heads in the Timon page decorations, such as the first in the Folger series. Which is great! Amazing magnification – many thanks for the link. Michel calls the Tyros “the ‘Wild Body’ figures, put through expensive schools”, which I also like.

    I’ll edit out the apostrophe. My Oxford English Grammar concedes that it was once common in plurals of proper names and foreign words (eg folio’s for folioes) to indicate a missed “e”, but says it long ago became disused and disparaged. Why I’ve started writing in 18th c English, I don’t know. Except to avoid the appearance of “Tie-ross”, I suppose. Though if the plural of hero is still heroes, why not “Tyroes”? Oh dear, I need to get out more …

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