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"The Past" Carlo Pellegrini caricature for Vanity Fair. c1874.

by Carlo Pellegrini (Ape)

Original lithograph of a watercolour caricature of The Right Honourable William Patrick Adam, M.P. for Vanity Fair, c1874. The accompanying text stated "But he is quiet, unassuming, and what is called agreeable in manner; wherefore he makes a very decent Whip, and is well-liked by the rank and file, and regarded by the chiefs of his Party as a useful and safe man with whom small places may be filled."

Established by Thomas Gibson Bowles (1841-1922), Vanity Fair was a weekly magazine of social comment, published in London from 1868 to 1914. With eight to ten pages each issue, Vanity Fair magazine's popularity was guaranteed by the inclusion of an amusing caricature, parodying any newsworthy personage. Over the years of publication it became a mark of honour to be the 'victim' of one of the magazine's caricaturists. Bowles accompanied each caricature with a witty text, full of personal insights and innuendoes, written under a pseudonym of 'Jehu Junior' (after the biblical prophet who effected the downfall of his enemies).

Bowles considered the images to be “grim faces made more grim, grotesque figures made more grotesque, and dull people made duller by the genius of our talented collaborator ‘Ape’" (Carlo Pellegrini, 1839-1889) who was the first artist Bowles employed, and who did more than half of the caricatures. The other major caricaturist was ‘Spy’ (Leslie Ward, 1851-1922).

The first time lithography had been used for caricatures, they were printed by the eminent lithographer, Vincent Brooks (1814-1885), who produced over 2,300 caricatures for Vanity Fair.

Page size 355 x 230 (14 x 9 inches). In good condition, except for India ink '26' at top right of page.

Stock Number: apVF176Price: $80.00