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Monday, 11 October 2010, 12:00AM
Museum of London

Satire, print shops and comic illustration in late eighteenth and nineteenth century London

Mark Bills

This lecture tells the story of visual satire in London, a city in which caricature flourished like no other. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the people of London have been both amused and outraged by the thousands of social and political satires in paint, paint and engravings which have variously and humorously described London and its people. The enormous body of cartoon images range from the specific to the general: from caricature portraits of leading figures to the London 'types' recognized by all Londoners; from specific events and political debacles to the state of a typical London street. The array of approaches of artists, both 'high' and 'low', amateur and professional, is equally wide and extends from light-hearted mocking to vitriolic and libellous attacks. This lecture leads us through the various ages of the production of cartoons in London, from the independent print publisher to the editor of a comic journal, providing us with a rare perspective on the life of the city through its contemporary satirical images.

mark-bills

Curator, Watts Gallery, formerly Senior Curator of Paintings, Prints and Drawings, Museum of London

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