Thursday, October 03, 2013

BRITISH AND FRENCH CARICATURES, CIRCA 1820


The British won the Napoleonic wars and then proceeded to swamp France with tourists. It was a bitter pill for the French who couldn't believe they were beaten by a race of people with buck teeth and no chins. Since I possess those attributes myself, I'll observe that buck teeth do indeed bestow on the bearer remarkable powers of intellect and tenacity, and so...of course they did well in that war.

BTW, this print (above) is derived from an oil paining by Dore.

Daumier was equally amazed by the buck-toothed British tourists (above) he saw.


How did British caricaturists treat the French? Surprisingly lenient once the war was over. Maybe that's because the British favorite target for humor has always been other British.

Available for ridicule were the high-collar dandies...tons of them. Somehow the war years spawned a gazillion of them (above), who attempted to be as visible as possible.  This was not lost on caricaturist William Heath.


The dandies chased out the old tri-corned people. They were so...yesterday.


They even chased out the beefy, earthy old Samuel Johnson types (above).  The new man was supposed to be lean and elegant.


Frock coats with tight waists were in. Even fat men wore them.


The British love class-based humor. Here (above) the pushy, social-climbing masses display their inability to do a simple thing like wait in line to visit an art museum.



2 comments:

Aaron said...

Love those old time caricatures. They always give me this feel like the old times were so much more buttoned up and proper. I love that one with the tall guy and the fat guy. Also, yeah. British people are so funny looking and awesome.

Zozo Bozozio said...

We french still draw buck-toothed british - just take a look at Astérix chez les Bretons. I didn't knew it was such a old gimmick, however. Daumier was great (and his drawings still are !)