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Sunday, December 31

George Cruikshank's Fashion Monstrosities

Monstrosities of 1818

Monstrosities of 1821

George Cruikshank (1792-1878), began his career as a caricaturist and illustrator, becoming a successful cartoonist and social satirist while still a young man. Working with both wood and steel engravings, he limned a remarkable number of illustrations in the style of Rowlandson and Gillray that portrayed the British way of life. He observed society with visual brushstrokes, whereas Jane Austen used pen, ink, and words.

In these two hand-colored etchings (there are more in the series), Cruikshank exaggerated the fashions of the time. According to one reference, the black poodle as shown in Monstrosities of 1821 is a symbol of dandyism. Jane would not have seen these prints, as she died in July of 1817, but her sister Cassandra might have. Cruikshank was enormously popular during his day and his prints were widely distributed.

Learn more about George Cruickshank in the following links.

George Cruikshank: (1792-1878)

George Cruikshank: Wikipedia

George Cruikshank: The Art of the Print

The Victorian Web

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