SATIRE - A SMALL ANTHOLOGY
, " a general term for the art of applying the grotesque to the purposes
of satire, and for pictorial and plastic ridicule and burlesque."
respect to the arts, our poor neglected public are left to form their
hearts and their understanding upon these lessons, not of morality and
philanthropy, but of envy, malignity and horrible disorder, which everywhere
stare them in the face, in the profligate caricatura firniture of print-shops,
from Hyde Park Corner to Whitechapel. Better, better far, there had been
no art, than thus to pervert and employ it to purposes so base, and so
subversive of everything interesting to society." James Barry 1795,
letter to the Dilettanti Society.
IMAGE OF THE SATIRIST
Low. Cover motif from Ye Madde Designer 1935.
bemoans the predicament of the newspaper political cartoonist prey to
everybody with a gag and a proposition. From The Herblock Book,
Beacon Books, Boston 1952.
of Thomas Rowlandson from Joseph Grego's Rowlandson the Caricaturist
, Chatto and Windus, London 1880.
chases Attlee, Churchill and Herbert Morrison , from the cover of Stabs
in the Back , cartoons by Vicky (Victor Weisz) for the News
Chronicle, Max Reinhart, London 1952
Watts, "The Caricaturist", from G.Montague Ellwood, The
Art of Pen Drawing Batsford London 1927. A contrast to the
Herblock vision of the satirist's trade.
BULL. Just because England is represented by this fat oaf doesn't
mean we have to accept the choice uncritically. Little used today, John
Bull can represent the sturdy sensible qualities of the imperturable Englishman.
He is usually shown without signs of much imagination or energy. He is
usually obese and intolerant of Foreigners. He is slow to act but steady
in his progress.
bovine appearences were for PUNCH magazine over a long period. I enjoy
the study of him because it is usefu lto see how foreign cartoonists used
his qualities to attack british foreign policies. You also have the option
of Britannia (sexy), and the Lion (proud, defiant or indeed motheaten)
to epitomise the English people.
01 A thinner Bull demanded by the deprivations of Total War.
John Bull scatters salt on the tail of the American Eagle, the cover
of the radical American magazine. Marianne helps Bull to mock the Bird.
KEN , 1939.
02 The Little Less by Guy Reed and Fougasse,.Methuen
03 A contrary
vision from the German Fascist press; cartoon by "lill" published
in Das Schwarze Korps , date unknown, c1937
- it is characteristic of much graphic satire that the image
shows the collapse of existing structures, of pomposities, of pretensions.
The skill is to show the teetering, the moements before the great collapse.
Choosing the exact moment is a great science, as is the calculation and
depiction of expression and gesture.
The Promised Horrors of the French Invasion published
20th October 1796 Charles James Fox in revolutionary dress flogs William
Pitt as the streets run with blood and figures (Canning and Jenkinson)
hang from the street lamps.
compare Les Formes Acerbes of
the same year Promis'd Horrors of the French INVASION is typical of
Gillray's mature satirical work building on the spatial conventions
of William Hogarth's print world with an exuberence of form, a sort
of terribility in the service of the Comic. Gillray could draw well
- with particularities of gesture and expression.
Rowlandson, From Joseph Grego's Rowlandson the Caricaturist , Chatto
and Windus, London 1880. "Chaos is Come Again',a drawing of the
collapse of Covent Garden Theatre, social satire, the puncturing of
The Glorious Minority in 1763, with the Head of the
Majority Blazon's, an esoteric comment on the Wilkes Affair, with the
head of Bute on a Pole; here to persuade you of the control and invention
of the satiric print before Gillray. There is a Hogarthian feel to the
parade of physiognomies above, and a wealth of references built into
the image structure. The recourse to heraldic imagery is a clue as to
the most likely readership.
Gillray's Siege de la Colonne de Pompee, or Science in the Pillary,
a comment on the fate of the uppity French scientists who had sauntered
forth in Egypt on their scientific investigations only to be met by
what Gillray assumed to be the Native Folks.
Robinson, see text beneath "Protective Arrest"
20th March 1936, Goebbels and Göring take the emblematic figure
of Peace. As you'll see from these examples, Robinson was a man who
didn;t much care about a visual background for his figures (unlike Low
who delighted in setting his participants in rooms, Elysian Fields,
Cinemas etc - anything that really helped his point).
I caricature Mr.Baldwin's Nose", from David Lowe, Ye Madde
Designer ,Studio London 1935,p.15.A conventional but effective
technique used by Gillray ("Doublures"), by Harry Furniss
(Gladstone's collar) and by Daumier (Louis Philippe as Pear) - to identify
the characteristic feature of a face and take it a series of changes
towards the utterly basic. Low's command of this process marks him beyond
the usual graphic formulae of the Press artists.
Robinson International Exchange of Fashions 18th July
1936, given the marketing of a suit called the Eden in Norway.
Rowlandson Charity Covereth a Multitude of Sins a young
buck flashes his gold off outside a brothel From Joseph Grego's Rowlandson
the Caricaturist ,Chatto and Windus, London 1880.
04 Grotesque portrait, Consistency, single satirical
print published by Hodgson in London, undated c1835 17 x 26cms
portrait, Fly away Pretty Moth, single satirical print
published by Hodgson in London, undated c1835 17 x 26cms
Christmas Visions of Politicians Hynes cover for the Christmas edition
of the saucy British Men's Magazine, MEN ONLY December
1949. With portraits of Stafford Cripps as Jester , Clem Attlee in fez,
Ernie Bevan in Chinese hat, Herbert Morison as Santa and a whitefaced
Churchill as clown.
Patick Lee An Innovative caricatural style COURIER was a Quarterly magazine
published in London 1937 and 1938, slightly raffish and notable as the
employer of the cartoonist VICKY whose uncharacteristic social drawings
pepper the pages. It also employed Patrick O'Lee about whom little is
known. He specialised in a shiny, almost porcelain style of caricature,
executed in airbrush, with an innovative shiny look. He always achieved
an excellent likeness. In terms of slickness he could outslick many
American social caricaturists such as Sam Berman. I offer two examples
here to show his unusual qualities. The Music Hall artists Jack Hulbert
and Cicely Courtnedge
George Formby and Bette Davis.
Rowlandson and a characteristic exrcise in the grotesque portrait, further
emphasised by deliberate contrast of age over the newspaper.From Jospeh
Politics to be read backwards like a Witch's Prayer see full
Stage Medley and finally a chaos of arrangement an anonymous
single sheet engraving of 1728 attacking the public taste for John Gay's
The Beggar's Opera. This is a fascinating alternative, very muck a strip
cartoon with a trompe l'oeil scattering of peeling paper.
Miller's Maid Grinding Old Men Young anonymous artist, satirical
print on sex as rejuvenation, with a landscape divided between the barren
and the fruitful. A monk pleads in vain. Published by Sayer of Fetter
Lane, London undated 20 x 29cms, undated but c 1750. This is beautufully
paced in a compositional format that is highly stylised, like The
Seven Ages of Man.
Robinson - almost an image from the Satiric past this - the great maw
of the Communist exploiter devouring the Jarrow hunger marches.
The Bubbler's Medley 1720, 305 x 385mm ; and a graphic
comment on the South Sea Bubble and financial speculation of the day.
British images of the Bolshevik; 1919-1938 (foot of