Cartoons Social and Political , London, 1893

“Cynicus” was the penname of the Scottish cartoonist Martin Anderson, who became a successful cartoonist in London in the late 1880s. Critics praised him as the new Rowlandson, but when his hand-coloured “Cartoons Social and Political” appeared in 1893, he was blamed for being “almost brutal” in his directness. Their socialist impulse was promoted by his friendly contact to artists of the Fabian Society. Although one can trace an apparent influence by the decorative interventionist illustrations of Walter Crane, the unique blunt and minimalistic style of Anderson´s cartoons is connected a good deal more to the graphic satires of early British radicalism, to the Jacobin caricature campaigns of Thomas Spence and to the woodcuts of the Cruikshank & Hone collaborations.

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