Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)

A Google-Eyed Demon, (white with stripes) from Devils in Diverse Shapes, circa 1906

SKU: 10124
Signed with monogram, titled to reverse. Hand coloured woodcut.

Height – 12.8cm
Width – 10.2cm


Private collection

Marion Wallace-Dunlop’s roaring and grinning Devils in Divers Shapes emerged from an imagination that conceived daring and innovative protests for the women’s suffrage movement, including the first hungerstrike campaign. In July of 1909, Wallace-Dunlop staged a hunger strike and followed up with newspaper interviews. 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.


Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)
A Google-Eyed Demon, from Devils in Diverse Shapes, circa 1906
Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)
A Nymph from Devils in Diverse Shapes, circa 1906
Marion Wallace Dunlop (1864 - 1942)
A Glaring Demon, (without colour) from Devils in Diverse Shapes, circa 1906