I found this sketch folded and tucked inside an old paperback copy of The Moonstone. The signature, ‘JRS’, belongs to my late father, John Seddon, who was quite an accomplished amateur artist when the fancy took him. What I should like to know is, who is depicted? Someone real rather than imaginary, I think. Other portraits by my father seem to have tended to be based on existing images, exercises in technique rather than creativity: Beethoven, Elgar, Ibsen. Perhaps this is another great man in the arts; certainly I cannot put faces to very many such famous names. Perhaps the portrait was drawn from life; but my mother has seen the picture and showed no signs of recognition.
On a whim, I tried some ‘similar image’ search engines. TinEye returned no results; likewise PicTriev, which is designed for facial recognition but seems exclusively geared towards photographs. GazoPa was more adventurous when presented with a version with a black border; its results then included a tiger, a map of Great Britain, some Chinese calligraphy, and several clocks and watches.