Alfred Concanen

Alfred Concanen (1835 – 1886) was a prominent Victorian printer and lithographer whose primary output was sheet music cover illustrations. Concanen had a keen eye for detail and a knack for capturing the essence of his subjects. He was a crucial figure in the music hall scene for over two and a half decades. He was known for his meticulously designed sheet music covers that featured portraits of famous performers and depicted humorous scenes from their songs.

Concanen’s career was a testament to his versatility as an illustrator. He worked as a staff illustrator for the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, where he often used photographs as references for his illustrations, bringing the vibrant world of entertainment to life on paper. His work immortalized iconic performers such as George Leybourne, ‘Champagne Charlie,’ and Alfred Vance, ‘The Great Vance,’ during the heyday of the British music hall tradition in the 1860s.

Concanen’s contributions extended beyond sheet music covers, as he also designed theater posters and illustrated various publications. His legacy lives on through extensive collections of his sheet music covers housed in prestigious institutions like the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Library. Alfred Concanen’s artistry and dedication are celebrated as integral to Victorian lithographic history.

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