‘Elements of Skating. Making the most of a passing Friend, in a case of Emergency’.
James Gillray (1757 – 1815) was a British caricaturist and printmaker famous for his etched political and social satires. He started his career as a letter engraver which later helped him to support his studies at the Royal Academy. Gillray’s incomparable wit and humour, knowledge of life, fertility of resource, and beauty of execution, at once gave him the first place among caricaturists. In his caricatures Gillray was attacking the social follies of the time with scathing satire, and nothing escapes his notice. He is honourably distinguished in the history of caricature by the fact that his sketches are real works of art. The ideas embodied in some of them are sublime and poetically magnificent in their intensity of meaning, while the forthrightness is characteristic of the general freedom of treatment common in all intellectual departments in the 18th century. In 1851 Henry George Bohn put out an edition, from the original plates in a handsome elephant folio, the coarser sketches being published in a separate volume. In recent years Gillray’s work has become very collectable. Prices had been climbing steadily since the 1970s. The historical value of Gillray’s work has been recognized by many discerning students of history.
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Size: 355 x 260 cm. Later printing from original plates. Later colour. Very good condition.