Monday, January 21, 2013

Broadsides: Caricature and the Navy 1775–1815

Dates: Open daily
Times: 10.00-17.00
Location: National Maritime Museum

This exhibition explores the history of the Royal Navy, late 18th to early 19th centuries, through the acerbic wit of caricature of that time.

This was a period of intense naval activity which included the Seven Years War, the American War of Independence, and the wars against Revolutionary and Napoleonic France. A new and popular form of graphic satire also emerged, as caricature developed into a highly sophisticated art form. Contemporary political and naval events were dissected with biting humour and a journalistic concern for current affairs.

A selection from the Museum’s extensive collection of caricatures is on show, highlighting important naval actions and personalities, and presenting a unique perspective on the Navy’s place in British society and culture. In doing so, the exhibition also illuminates the continuing contemporary relevance of political caricature and graphic satire.

Image: detail of 'John Bull taking a Luncheon: - or - British Cooks, cramming Old Grumble-Gizzard, with Bonne-Chere, by James Gillray; H. Humphrey, published 24 October 1798. Repro ID: PW3941. ©NMM, Greenwich, London.

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