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The narrowing target / Nelson Greene '14.

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The narrowing target / Nelson Greene '14.

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Illustration shows a woman standing against a wall with many arrows stuck around her; Cupid tells a man standing nearby that he is doing his best.
Title from item.
Caption: Cupid I'm doing the best I can, old man, but if I make one hit in twenty these days I'm lucky.
Illus. in: Puck, v. 75, no. 1928 (1914 February 14), cover.
Copyright 1914 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.

Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day originated as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae). Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred in 269 and was added to the calendar of saints by Pope Gelasius I in 496 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. Some authors link St. Valentine's Day and the rites of the ancient Roman festival Lupercalia. In Ancient Rome, Lupercalia, observed February 13–15, was an archaic rite connected to fertility. Pope Gelasius I (492–496) abolished Lupercalia. The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honor of Saint Valentine of Rome, who died on that date in AD 269. From the High Middle Ages, his Saints' Day has been associated with a tradition of courtly love. He is also a patron saint of epilepsy. The earliest description of February 14 as an annual celebration of love appears in the Charter of the Court of Love. The charter, allegedly issued by Charles VI of France at Mantes-la-Jolie in 1400, describes lavish festivities to be attended by several members of the royal court, including a feast, amorous song and poetry competitions, jousting, and dancing. Amid these festivities, the attending ladies would hear and rule on disputes from lovers. No other record of the court exists, and none of those named in the charter were present at Mantes except Charles's queen, Isabeau of Bavaria, who may well have imagined it all while waiting out a plague. The day became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century when the notions of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.[8] In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver's heart", as well as to children to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine's Malady). Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican and the Lutheran Churches, however, the celebration has become marginalized by the modern Anglo-American customs connecting the day with romantic love.

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Date

01/01/1914
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Contributors

Greene, Nelson, artist
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Source

Library of Congress
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No known restrictions on publication.

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