Readers of this blog will by now be aware of the 2NHG’ fondness for the illustrators and caricaturists of the 18th and 19th centuries. One of my absolute favorites is George Cruikshank, who was, fortunately, extremely prolific.
While the great painters focused on important people and sites, these tend to be formal and flattering. Caricaturists and illustrators, however, dealt with everyday life, not always pretty. His images often help me envision scenes for my stories.
As well as creating distinctive images of people in their various humors and characters, Cruikshank drew and painted the details of his world, its streets and ordinary interiors. But he had a talent as well for creating visual metaphors for human physical and emotional trials: headache, indigestion, and jealousy, for instance.
This image for a nightmare took my fancy, because it so aptly captures the experience in a way I think we can still relate to.
I was delighted to find Cruikshank’s A Comic Alphabet online at the Cincinnati library’s virtual library.
You can also see the book at Spitalfields Life, a site I often turn to for big, sharp pictures of bygone London.
Image courtesy the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.
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