Today, after a remarkable 50 years, we say goodbye to Gerald Scarfe. For half a century his superb weekly Sunday Times cartoons have lacerated generations of British political leaders from Harold Wilson to Theresa May.
He has cheerfully courted controversy all the way. In 1964 The Times commissioned the 28-year-old Scarfe to sketch Sir Winston Churchill on his last day in parliament, but rejected in horror his brutally honest drawing of a shambling old man.
We know Gerry, who is leaving us but continuing his career, as the kindest of men. His targets are the powerful, never the weak. His magnificent valedictory cartoon for us last week — depicting Jeremy Corbyn as a dog relieving itself on a slumped, splay-legged Mrs May — drew a final burst of praise and obloquy.
It inspired George Osborne to laud Scarfe as the Gillray of our age, but one critic harrumphed: “May I ask how the cartoonist would feel if someone portrayed his wife/partner in this position?”
As Mrs Scarfe is the charming actress Jane Asher, we doubt he will be put to the test.