Frederick Barnard, cartoonist and illustrator, was born in London on 26 May 1846, the son of Edward Barnard, a silversmith. He studied art at Heatherley's Art School in London, then under Léon Bonnat in Paris. He became known for his black and white drawings of street scenes. He worked in London and at Cullercoats on the Northumberland coast. His work was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art and he worked as a cartoonist and illustrator for Punch (1863-), The Illustrated London News, Harper's Weekly, Ally Sloper's Half Holiday, Fun, the Penny Illustrated Paper and Judy.
In 1870 Barnard married Alice Faraday, a niece of the chemist Michael Faraday. In the 1880s Fred and his wife Alice joined a colony of artists at Broadway in the Cotswolds. In 1871 he was commissioned to illustrate nine volumes of the Household Edition of the works of Charles Dickens, including Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, Sketches by Boz, Nicholas Nickleby, Barnaby Rudge, Dombey and Son and Martin Chuzzlewit. producing some 450 illustrations over an eight-year period.
By the end of the nineteenth century, Barnard had acquired a reputation as a portraitist to the aristocracy and the Royal Family. After the death of his son Geoffrey in 1891, he went into a decline. Although his work was unaffected, his relationship with Alice suffered and at on 28 September 1896, aged forty-nine, his bedclothes caught fire from the pipe he was smoking, while under the influence of a drug which was probably laudanum. He died of suffocation and his body was badly charred.
John Singer Sargent had become very close to the Barnard family by the time of Fred's death. Barnard's daughters Dorothy and Polly served as the models for Sargent's famous painting of 1885-86 Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. He would in later years take the Barnard girls along on his painting trips to the south of Europe. In Sargent's will drawn up in 1918, he left £5,000 to Alice Barnard.
- Alan Clark, Dictionary of British Comic Artists, Writers and Editors, The British Library, 1998, p. 9
- Richard Ormond, "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose," in Stanley Olson et al., Sargent at Broadway: The Impressionist Years (New York: Universe/Coe Kerr Gallery, 1986).
- F. M. O'Donoghue, "Barnard, Frederick (1846–1896)", rev. Simon Houfe, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 23 May 2014
- Hammerton, J. A. The Dickens Picture-Book. London: Educational Book Co., 1910.
- Kitton, Frederic G. Dickens and His Illustrators. 1899. Rpt. Honolulu: U. Press of the Pacific, 2004.
- The Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan, 1893, John C. Winston & Co., over 100 illustrations by Fred Barnard