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The rival gardeners

The rival gardeners

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King George III of England and Napoleon I tend to their respective plants on opposite sides of a stream labeled "The Channel." A cudgel marked "British Oak" floats down it. Napoleon bends over his drooping potted plant, surmounted by a crown, supporting it with both hands. Behind him are pots of "Military Poppies." Beside him, a wheelbarrow full of coins with a sword standing up from the pile bears the title, "Manure from Italy & Switzerland," a reference to the French army's plundering of Italy and Switzerland under Napoleon. The ruler of France wears an apron and over-sleeves. George III, dressed in a simple suit and an apron, holds a shovel while pointing to his thriving oak plant, also surmounted by a crown.
Imp. Pubd Feby 10th 1803 by SW Folios of Caracatures lent out for the Evening.
Inscribed above George III: No No Brother Gardener though only aditch parts our grounds yet this is the spot for true Gardening, here the Corona Britanica, and Heart of Oak, willflourish to the end of the World.
Inscribed above Napolean: Why I dont know what is the reason my Poppies flourish charmingly but this Corona Imperialis is rather a delicate kind of a plant, and requires great judgement in rearing.
Library has two impressions: SWANN - no. 1408 (B size) and British Cartoon Collection PC 1 - 9968 (A size).
No copyright information found with item.
See SWANN - no. 1412 (B size) for related image.
Title from item.
Title printed below image.
Bequest and gift; Caroline and Erwin Swann; 1974; (DLC/PP-1974:232.1248)
Williams contrasts the relative weakness of the French emperor's position with the enduring strength of the British monarchy. The satirical print may have been done after a drawing by George Woodward.
Published in: Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires, Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Vol. VIII 1801-1810 / by Mary Dorothy George. London: The British Museum by order of the Trustees, 1947 (entry #9968).

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.





Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, artist


Library of Congress

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