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cannot mention the history of illustration without mentioning George Cruikshank.
Cruikshank was born on Duke Street
in Bloomsbury, London in 1792. His
father, Isaac Cruikshank was a well-known engraver and caricaturist, and from an
early age, George worked at his side, learning the techniques of etching,
watercolor, and sketching. By his
early twenties, Cruikshank was already producing caricatures and illustrations
for London publishers. It was the
beginning of a long and prolific career, which included illustrations for some
of the most famous Victorian novels, including Robinson Crusoe and Oliver
Twist. Cruikshank also produced
many works on his own, including the highly acclaimed, The Drunkard’s
Children, which illustrated the negative affects alcohol has on family life.
Cruikshank was well known for preaching temperance and pointing his
fingers at the wrongs of society. For
these admirable causes as well as for his artistic talent, Cruikshank was much
revered by his contemporaries, and is still acclaimed by the British today as
one of their greatest Victorian artists. When
he died in 1878, the journal Punch published an obituary that began,
“England is the poorer by what she can ill-spare – a man of genius.”
about Cruikshank and his art were published almost immediately after his death,
and have continued to be published ever since.
He has been the focus of numerous exhibitions and art students all over
the world study his use of wit and satire in his drawings.
This pathfinder is only a sample of some of the more useful resources
available on George Cruikshank at the Libraries of UNC-Chapel Hill.
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