Rufus meets Vasco Urbano Loureiro 1913

Vasco Urbano Loureiro, cartoonist ii

Who the heck is that?

That, dear boy, is Vasco Urbano Loureiro, born in London to Portuguese parents, a naturalized Australian and a cartoonist of rare skill.

And Rufus knew this guy?

Not ‘knew’, exactly  – it would be more accurate to say that he met him. They no doubt shook hands and certainly would have chatted while Vasco was drawing this likeness of him

Cartoon of Rufus with pram, 1913

Well, he’s drawn Rufus in a rare good humour, that’s for sure. That must mean that they enjoyed each other’s company.

Not surprising that they got along just fine – Rufus seldom met a man he didn’t like, and Vasco, it seems,  never met one he didn’t want to draw. They were ‘people’ guys.

Surprising that Rufus never mentions him in letters.

He probably never had the chance to get his address because Vasco was so busy – he would have been shooed in and shooed out  – Vasco did cartoons of nineteen other Duncan worthies that day.

Cartoons of Duncan personalities 1913

What a bunch of cheerful rogues. Vasco must have asked their friends to give him a thumbnail character sketch of each one. You can see which of them had a reputation as a ‘ladies man’, for example.

Yes, you’re looking at 1913 stereotypes in those pictures – and it wasn’t called sexual harassment in those days.

He really goes after the man called Louis – ladies left and right and a lecherous expression to boot. What’s the traffic accident in Rufus’s picture?

That’s the infant Derek in his buggy, raising hell while Dad takes him out for a walk. Maybe he’s objecting to dad bringing along his tennis racket – no doubt he suspects he’s to be parked under a tree while dad plays tennis. There’s probably a story here that we don’t know!

Did Vasco make his living drawing cartoons?

I believe he did, though he was usually on board ship. He liked to travel the CPR Princess ships , like the Princess Victoria.


They sailed on the so-called ‘triangle run’ between Victoria, Seattle and Vancouver. And he would be busy sketching passengers, who would line up for their pictures. And one day one of them invited him to come to Duncan.

It would be nice to know the names of the other Duncan characters he sketched that day – for example, I’d like to know who Louis was – and Le Vieux.

Maybe readers will help us out. Poor Vasco, like Rufus he joined the army – in Vasco’s case, the Australian army – and went to France in the war. In 1918 they were probably quite near each other –  the Canadian and Australian corps were often side by side. He drew this selfie just before he was fatally wounded. He died at 36.

Bohemian on the Western Front

They had plenty in common – like Rufus, he died young.

2 thoughts on “Rufus meets Vasco Urbano Loureiro 1913

    1. Thanks for the comment and the tip. Would love to see a copy of your original – thank you for your offer. Colin

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