King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
The Cartoon in Wartime Propaganda


Hogarth's 'Beer Street'Hogarth's 'Beer Street'Satirical cartoons and caricatures - exaggerated versions of portrait drawings - began to be published in growing numbers at this time by the likes of James Gillray (1756-1815), George Cruikshank (1792-1878) and William Heath (1794/5-1840).

Robert Cruickshank on the Royal divorce, 1820Robert Cruickshank on the Royal divorce, 1820These satirised political and religious leaders and royalty, and often were intentionally offensive in their use of crude and insulting humour in the interests of public entertainment and political discourse.

Their artistic legacy and style survived into the Twentieth Century, most recently in the work of artists such as Gerald Scarfe.

Satirists also tried to influence public opinion in the interest of social reform or simply to describe in withering detail contemporary society and its moral complexities - for example William Hogarth (1697-1764) in his Rake's Progress and other works. Renowned for its lighter use of satirical humour was the magazine Punch, which was founded in 1841.

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