Maurice Greiffenhagen

Maurice William Greiffenhagen (1862–1931) was a designer, illustrator, and portrait painter. He was born in London on 15 December 1862. Greiffenhagen was highly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, and particularly Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828‑1882) and the Venetians. However, his loose and gestural style and economy of line also suggests the influence of caricaturist Phil May. Greiffenhagen attended the Royal Academy Schools beginning in 1878 where he was extremely successful, winning the Armitage Prize and cartoon medal among other accommodations. Beginning in 1887 he became increasingly involved in book and periodical illustration. He contributed to Judy, Fun, Black and White The Butterfly, The Pall Mall Budget, The Illustrated London News, The Unicorn, Pick-Me-Up, Daily Chronicle, Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday, The Sketch, The Lady’s Pictorial, and The Windsor Magazine. Greiffenhagen was also a prolific book illustrator but is best remembered for illustrating Haggard. Greiffenhagen and Haggard had a close and personal relationship. In fact, the artist named his son Rider in Haggard’s honor. Sadly, Rider Greiffenhagen died in a submarine during WWI. Haggard hung several of Greiffenhagen's She illustrations in his Ditchingham, Norfolk home. Greiffenhagen served as Headmaster, Life Department, for the Glasgow School of Art from 1906 to 1929. He decorated the British Pavilions for the 1925 Paris Exhibition and Antwerp exhibition in 1930. Greiffenhagen exhibited at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, and the New English Art Club. He became an Associate Member of the Royal Academy in 1916, and a Royal Academician in 1922. Greiffenhagen died at St. John’s Wood, London, on 26 December 1931.

Further Reading


Chamot, Mary, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin. “Maurice Greiffenhagen.” The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. 2 Vols. London: Oldbourne Press, 1964.


Houfe, Simon. “Greiffenhagen, Maurice RA 1862–1931.” The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists 1800-1914. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1981. 325.


Johnson, Jane and A. Greutzner. “Greiffenhagen, Maurice William 1862–1931.” Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940. Suffolk: Baron, 1984. 214.


Little, J. Stanley. "Maurice Greiffenhagen and his Work." The Studio. 9 (1897): 235-245. Google Books. Web. 12 Nov. 2013.


Pocock, Tom. Rider Haggard and the Lost Empire. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1993. 90, 112, 229, 230, 237.


Temple, A.G. "Maurice Greiffenhagen" The Art Journal. 56 (1894): 225-229. Google Books. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.


Waters, Grant M.. “Greiffenhagen, Maurice William, R.A. (1862–1931).” Dictionary of British Artists Working 1900- 1950. Eastbourne: Eastbourne Fine Art, 1975. 140-141.

Illustrations by Maurice Greiffenhagen



Witha368 With a murmered cry of 'Husband!' Ayesha cast her arms about her lover's neck. Ayesha. 1st UK edition. 1905
Yetthey25 Yet they did not easily master him; but ..... they overpowered him by main force at last.. The World's Desire. New Edition. 1894
Youblack273 'You black beast!' he yelled. Jess. New and Revised Edition. 1896
Youlie230 'You lie, murderer!'. Montezuma's Daughter. 1st UK edition. 1893