Sublime and beautiful reflections on the French revolution, or the man in the moon at large
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Print shows Edmund Burke sitting at a desk on a crescent moon, holding a quill pen, an open "pamphlet" and an inkwell are on the desk, broken chains hang from his wrists; a scene on the front of the desk, labeled "French Revolution" shows a woman holding a liberty cap and a crown, standing on a man holding a chain.
Title from item.
Catalogue of prints and drawings in the British Museum. Division I, political and personal satires, v. 6, no. 7689
Forms part of: British Cartoon Prints Collection (Library of Congress).
The Moon has always been a magical and mystical object for people throughout history. It is the 2nd brightest object in the sky after the Sun. Since prehistoric times, the Moon has been an object of fascination, awe, and worship. The Moon has its influence on our culture through music, theater, literature, and more.
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.
Hey diddle diddle, The cat and the fiddle, The cow jumped over the moon; The little dog laughed to see such sport, And the dish ran away with the spoon. /A nursery rhyme from the 1700's /