The efflorescence of caricature

The efflorescence of caricature, edited by Todd Porterfield; assistant editor, Ersy Contogouris
240 p., Farnham, Surrey, England ; Burlington, VT, USA : Ashgate, c2011.


  • Commentaire d’Ersy Contogouris à venir


    Searing disputes over caricature have recently sparked flames across the world—the culmination, not the beginning, of the story of one of modernity’s definitive artistic practices. Modern visual satire erupts during a period marked by reform and revolution, by cohering nationalisms and expanding empires, and by the emerging discipline of art history. This has long been recognized as its Golden Age. It is time to look anew.

    In The Efflorescence of Caricature, 1759–1838, an international, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational team of scholars reconfigures the geography of modern visual satire, as the expansive narrative reaches from North America to Europe, to China and the Ottoman Empire. Caricature’s specific visual cultures are also laid bare, its iconographic means and material support, as well as the diverse milieu of its making—the military, the art academy, diplomacy, politics, art criticism, and popular entertainment. Some of its greatest practitioners—James Gillray and Honoré Daumier—are seen in a new light, alongside some of their far flung and opportunistic pastichers. Most trenchantly, assumptions about the consequences of caricature’s rise come under intense scrutiny, interrogated for its cherished and long-vaunted civilizational claims on individual character, artistic supremacy, political liberty, and global domination.

  • Contents: The efflorescence of caricature, Todd Porterfield; Caricature on the edge of empire: George Townshend in Quebec, Dominic Hardy; Early modern Dutch emblems and French visual satire: transfers of models across the 18th century, Pierre Wachenheim; John Bull, liberty and wit: how England became caricature, Reva Wolf; On bended knee: James Gillray’s global view of courtly encounter, Douglas Fordham; The light of wisdom: magic lanternists as truth-tellers in post-Revolutionary France, Helen Weston; The currency of caricature in Revolutionary France, Richard Taws; The public and the limits of persuasion in the age of caricature, Mike Goode; Signifying shape in pan-European caricature, Robert L. Patten; James Gillray, caricaturist and modernist artist avant la lettre, Christina Oberstebrink; The Musée de la caricature, Ségolène Le Men; Bibliography; Index.

  • About the Editor: Todd Porterfield is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Art History at the Université de Montréal. He is the author of The Allure of Empire: Art in the Service of French Imperialism, 1798–1836 (1998), and co-author of Staging Empire: Napoleon, Ingres, and David (2006).