Massacres of African-Americans in southern states had continued unabated, and the federal government was locked in its own bloodless battles over how to repair a country split in two. But getting to the Reconstruction Act of was a long, painful slog. Just look at this cartoon by the renowned illustrator Thomas Nast from September The artist came to the United States from Germany when he was 6.
Individual satire Caricature was a product of the Renaissance and Reformation emphasis on the importance of the individual. If a man was seen officially as an emperor, he was seen unofficially to have feet of clay or to be wearing no clothes. From about the first third of the 16th century, the emphasis on decorum was so strong in Italy and spread so fast northward and westward, reinforced by a still more solemn decorum from Spain, that it produced a reaction.
In the 16th century the work of the Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel the Elder is full of near caricature, as in the familiar drawing of an artist who is troubled at his easel by a nosy peering connoisseur behind his shoulder. In the work of Bruegel and that of his contemporary, the Dutch painter Hieronymus Boschthere are witty and sometimes horrendous dislocations of parts of the body, combinations of human anatomy with fishes, birds, animals, and windmills, and exaggeration of obese or emaciated physical types that are likewise near cartoons.
Yet true caricature in the sense of the satirical portrait of an individual is almost impossible to identify before the work of a late 16th-century Bolognese painter, Agostino Carracci. The first caricatures of persons whose names are still known today are by Bernini.
Artists of their time could at last afford to be easy about their position and occupation, about what was objective and what was subjective. They impartially caricatured one another in the studio and the types in the street.
The rise of connoisseurship and collecting in the 17th century soon produced appreciation of these caricatures outside the studio, leading to the gathering of such drawings into albums and their transformation into multiple etched or engraved publications.
Social satire The less personal and caricature-like features of the modern cartoon developed slowly through the 16th century and up to the last third of the 17th. In part consciously based on Bosch and Bruegel, in part an autonomous protest against the Renaissance belief in order, symmetry, and fixed canons of beauty, there rose a European family of grotesqueries with sources as mixed as its appearance.
Its only visible overall characteristic might be said to be that it reacted, from the depth of old folkways, against the novelty of the Renaissance, the New World, and the various hierarchies.
One result was the double images of faces and landscape or of human figures built of books, fish, or pots and pans by the 16th-century Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo. In a slightly different area lay two types of pictorial comedy.
The first type was the conscious satire by professional printmakersillustrating such works as the Ship of Foolsan allegory by the German poet Sebastian Brantor issued as independent prints.
The second type was the unconscious pictorial comedy by comparatively untutored practitioners of woodcut or etchinghastily made and issued as newspaper extras might be issued now.
These works were the ancestors of 18th- and 19th-century broadsides. If caricature deals with the individual and with what makes him individual, cartoons may be said to deal with groups and with their corporate characteristics; both are connected with the Renaissance love of classification and categorizing.
Up to the time in the midth century when both caricature and cartoon jelled in forms which answer to the modern definition, caricature had been prepared on the whole by knowledgeable artists; and cartoons had been prepared though often with the assistance of professional artists at a somewhat lower level.
Thereafter, cartoons in the modern sense of the term came to be created in response not merely to artistic impulses but to the same sorting-out impulses that were creating the modern state and its society, its science, and its religion.
Besides the sublime—ridiculous and the artist—layperson dualisms in this field, there is a sort of class dualism that is a result of historical factors rather than of general human disposition.
The history of caricature and cartoon is intimately connected with the history of the way in which one class has looked at another.
A 16th-century Swiss engraver, Jost Ammantreated trades and professions dispassionately, as did the 17th-century French engraver Abraham Bossealthough Bosse did create some lampoons on unpopular types and callings.
Jacques Callotan early 17th-century French etcher, satirized dandies, beggars, and all classes between, and he even made the generally detested Gypsies who were not yet romantic almost sympathetic. Peasant Dance, oil on wood by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c.
Against his absolutism and against his influence through agents in Britain and the Netherlands, the first modern cartoon campaign was made. The cartoons, which as yet made no particular use of personal caricature that was still on a friendly studio footingwere prints made in Holland by a group of artists of whom Romeyn de Hooghe was the chief, and they were sold cheap.
There had been Dutch political cartoons before, but they were laborious and appeared irregularly. The Dutch—English connection in the person of William III, the continuing threat of Louis XIV, and a succession of shattering events in various spheres stimulated a vast production of cartoons from the s on.
As the cartoon spread—along with its almost indispensable element, caricature—it began to divide; and although the periodical carrying cartoons was not to appear regularly until the third quarter of the 18th century, nor the true comic periodical until early in the 19th century, the divisions were real enough to follow from that time.
Personal and political satire pure caricature 18th century About the English printmaker Arthur Pond published together 25 caricatures after original drawings by a number of artists.
This collection must have been effective in spreading the idea and the word, for it was an excellent publication. Pier Leone Ghezzione of the artists included, was probably the first professional caricaturist, for he made a living with his pen portraits of Romans and visitors to Rome, many of which he engraved.
He was a minor master in comparison to his contemporary the Venetian artist Giovanni Battista Tiepoloyet the caricatures by the latter, delightful though they are, appear to deal with types or at least with anonymous individuals rather than with nameable ones.
Both artists had an eye for ungainly legs and posture and for odd clothing and the obvious features of the face.
Apparently begun in the s by the Englishman George Townshend later Marquess Townshendthese were comic portraits with punning titles or accessories, intended by disingenuous means to avoid being outright libellous. A flood of imitations followed. Early 19th century Great Britain Thomas Rowlandson created the comic images of a great many public characters in his day: He was the perfect professional to carry on what the amateur Townshend had begun.
Like Tiepolo, he was able to make the person and the costume assume a homogeneously ludicrous or pathetic—bathetic look, with factitious coiffures, wildly frogged uniforms, enormous bosoms and bottoms, and the dejected attitudes of trailing handkerchiefs.
Coming from the theatre to the political scene, he brought a highly dramatic sense of situation and analogy, but he was peculiarly violent and often scurrilous or scatological. His greatest talent was with patterns and ornaments of costume, which he would allow to take on a luxuriant life of their own.
France The French painter and engraver Philibert-Louis Debucourt might have equalled Rowlandson if he had not been so occupied with the intricacies of colour prints; but he produced a few superb cartoons of the Paris of his day, full of caricatures of fashionable personages.Political cartoons were a major form of commentary in late nineteenth-century American life, and Thomas Nast () was the most famous cartoonist of his day.
Before you move to the next page examine this cartoon yourself.
Thomas Nast, a German-born American editorial cartoonist was the bane of Boss Tweed and the Tammany Hall political machine. Read More». Dr. Seuss was a not only a successful children's author, but also a successful political cartoonist, lampooning current events during World War II for a progressive newspaper.
Short and slight Thomas Nast was the most dominant American political cartoonist of all time; using his pen as his sling in Harper's Weekly, he attacked Tweed almost single-handily before The New-York Times joined the battle in The drawing that turned Thomas Nast into the most powerful political cartoonist in American history wasn't the least bit funny.
Published in Harper's Weekly in September , it showed a.
in the midth century, there were featured, usually either full-page or quarter-page, political cartoons usually done in the mids and onward by Thomas Nast.
But then there were back page cartoons, quite small, often referring to a very specific event or policy or .