The provocative events resulting in the American Revolution and the
establishment of a new republic provided fertile ground for caricaturists on
both sides of the Atlantic. In this gallery are exemplar by four well
establishment of a new republic provided fertile ground for caricaturists
on both sides of the Atlantic. In this gallery are exemplar by four well
known artists, Paul Revere, Henry Pelham, William Humphreys and William
Charles, as well as a pair of anonymous works titled
The Stamp Act and The Repeal, which depict the
depth of feeling generated by the Stamp Act, 1765-1766.
Although Paul Revere (1735-1818), patriot, is best known for his ability as a silversmith, he was also a highly skilled copper engraver. He employed this talent to create a variety of documents including money, calling cards, and illustrations such as The Bloody Massacre. Like many engravers of the period, Revere used the drawings of other artists for his work and in this instance he utilized a drawing by Henry Pelham (1749-1806). Pelham complains to his half brother, John Singleton Copley, in a letter dated March 29, 1770 that Revere copied his plate. Pelham, an engraver and miniature portrait painter, was a Loyalist who returned to England in 1776. Given Revere's anti-British r endering of the illustration it is no wonder that Pelham was displeased.
William Humphrey[s] (1740?-1810?) was an English print maker and engraver who excelled in mezzotint portraits. An elder brother of Hannah Humphrey, a London bookseller who distributed the work of James Gillray (1756-1815), Humphrey[s] produced etchings a nd stipple engravings which frequently are based on the drawings of other artists. A collector of prints and portraits himself, Humphrey became an agent for many of the great private collections being developed at this time.
William Charles (1776-1820) worked as a caricaturist for the publisher Thomas Tegg, a London bookseller specializing in cheap reprints, abridgements and remainders, and S. W. Fores, who leased folios of caricatures to interested parties by the evening. He emigrated to America in 1806 as a consequence of prosecution over his caricatures of British magistrates. The majority of his early and political work, such as PROPERTY PROTECTED a la Francoise is either anonymous or signed Ansell or Argus.
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