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Driven to desperation / F. Opper.



Print shows William S. Holman holding up a page from the "The Sun" newspaper that shows his portrait above the caption "Our Candidate for President - W.S. Holman"; his hat and coat are on a chair and he is rolling up his shirt sleeves, he is armed with guns and knives, and a large club is leaning against a desk, he is threatening to kill Charles A. Dana. Dana kneels before him, pleading for mercy. On the desk is another page of the newspaper that states "Holman - the Peoples Choice". There is a display cabinet behind the desk that contains Samuel J. Tilden beneath a sign "The Sun's Candidate in 1876" and Winfield Scott Hancock labeled "A Good Man 250 lbs" beneath a sign "The Sun's Candidate in 1880".
Title from item.
Caption: W.S. Holman "This portrait settles it, Mr. Dana! I am forced to kill you in self-defense!"
Illus. from Puck, v. 14, no. 346, (1883 October 24), cover.
Copyright 1883 by Keppler & Schwarzmann.

It wasn't really until the 1700s that caricature truly blossomed as a form of political criticism. In the late 1750s, a man named Thomas Townshend began using the techniques employed by earlier engravers and applying them towards a political model. This gave Thompson's cartoons a much greater feeling of propaganda than previous artistic critiques of the time. The intense political climate of the period, and often accusatory nature of most political cartoons forced many artists to use pseudonyms in order to avoid accusations of libel. Other artists took it a step farther, and left their cartoons completely unsigned, foregoing any credit they may have received. Political higher-ups were notoriously touchy about their reputations and were not afraid to make examples of offenders. Puck was the first successful humor magazine in the United States of colorful cartoons, caricatures and political satire of the issues of the day. It was published from 1871 until 1918.

Puck was founded by Austrian-born cartoonist Joseph Keppler and his partners as a German-language publication in 1876. Puck’s first English-language edition in 1877. The magazine name came from Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream: “What fools these mortals be!” Puck used lithography instead of wood engraving and offered three cartoons vs. one of competitors. The cartoons were initially printed in black and white, but soon it changed into full, eye-catching color. Within a few years, Judge supplanted Puck as the leading humor magazine.

Alois Senefelder, the inventor of lithography, introduced the subject of colored lithography in 1818. Printers in other countries, such as France and England, were also started producing color prints. The first American chromolithograph—a portrait of Reverend F. W. P. Greenwood—was created by William Sharp in 1840. Chromolithographs became so popular in American culture that the era has been labeled as "chromo civilization". During the Victorian times, chromolithographs populated children's and fine arts publications, as well as advertising art, in trade cards, labels, and posters. They were also used for advertisements, popular prints, and medical or scientific books.





Opper, Frederick Burr, 1857-1937, artist


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