Both as Prince of Wales and as King, Edward VII was Max's favourite subject. The Hart-Davis catalogue lists 72 caricatures, a number only surpassed by self-caricatures. His caricaturing of the Prince of Wales started while still a schoolboy and as King, Edward fascinated Max more than ever, often drawing attention, as in the current work, to his large, pointed nose. A reviewer of Max's 1952 retrospective exhibition at the Leicester Galleries said, 'Historians may write as they will, but Edward VII will always appear as he does in Beerbohm's drawings'. (see N. John Hall, Max Beerbohm Caricatures, Yale, 1997, pp. 171-174).
The present work was annotated in 1952 when the present owners visited the artist at his villa in Rapallo.