Description

Between 1770 and 1830 more than 20,000 satirical prints were published in London alone. The subject matter of these prints fell broadly into two categories: political subjects, such as commentary on the ruling elite, elections and wars with France on one hand; and modern tastes and fashions on the other. The variety of the prints was immense. Small black-and-white images could be purchased for a few pence, while hand-coloured images printed on textured paper were sold for two shillings each or more and collected as a series. Of course, many prints had a broader circulation beyond the people who initially bought them. Prints were swapped and shared among friends and relations, while print-shop windows such as that shown here attracted huge crowds when new editions from famous caricaturists such as James Gillray or Thomas Rowlandson went on sale.

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