Sunday, April 15, 2012

Lurking in the Shadows

Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass
That I may see my shadow as I pass

Shakespeare: Richard III Act 1 Scene 2**

A foolscap (1850s coloured lithograph by CH Bennett)
A Foolscap

A greedy pig (1850s coloured lithograph by CH Bennett)
A Greedy Pig

A parrot (1850s coloured lithograph by CH Bennett)
A Parrot

A crocodile (1850s coloured lithograph by CH Bennett)
A Crocodile

A pump (1850s coloured lithograph by CH Bennett)
A Pump

A bantom (1850s coloured lithograph by CH Bennett)
A Bantom

A little duck (1850s coloured lithograph by CH Bennett)
A Little Duck

An old fashion (1850s coloured lithograph by CH Bennett)
An Old Fashion

Shadows by CH Bennett (titlepage) (1850s coloured lithograph by CH Bennett)
'Shadows' title page

[all images were cropped from the full page layouts and were lightly cleaned of background spots]
"Charles Bennett (1829-67) was a talented illustrator who worked mainly as a caricaturist for periodicals such as the Comic Times and Comic News; he joined Punch in 1865, but died in poverty only two years later. He wrote stories for his own children and illustrated them with delightful comic details, often cutting his own wood blocks."
[source ::: home]
"He also illustrated children's books like 'Papernose Woodensconce' (1854), 'The Faithless Parrott' (1858) and 'Mr. Wind and Madame Rain' (1864). The stories Charles Bennett drew for Punch often showed a sequence, and can be seen as an early form of comics."

**The Shakespeare passage^ up top has Richard being reminded by a mirror ("glass") that he is always on stage and that a reflection, like a shadow (metaphor), is divorced from the true nature of character portrayed in reflected or shadowed form.


lisa said...

These are lovely, thanks for sharing.....

Anonymous said...

nice collaction

Karla said...

I'm slightly confused by the Old Fashion. Otherwise, can see these will be a big hit for entertainment next time there's a power outage in my neighborhood.

peacay said...

I wasn't really sure about that fashion part either. I thought of the mega-bouffance styles of 18th c. France, but all the rest of the visual puns are derogatory comments on character, so it remains a mystery to me.

peacay said...

Blogger's comment moderation is broken at present, so : .....................................

Karla said...

"Yes, I kept trying to figure out if there was a discernible resemblance to empire style, but it didn't seem quite right. Perhaps it will come to me in the night. The pump took a moment--physical pump for water as opposed to some sort of unfamiliar slang."

Karla said...

Internet woes your way as well? I thought it was just here... lots of DNS errors (or whatever they're called). Servers intermittently fried.

Kelly Robinson said...

I don't get the pump --is there a symbolic meaning I''m missing? Otherwise, this is one my favorite posts.

peacay said...

I have decided that there is "local time & place" symbolism at play sometimes. This attitude allows for all meanings and analysis.

Elliott Banfield said...

Kelly, check this out

peacay said...

Good call/find Elliott! I guess the 'pump' implies water pump and that person stands for prohibition or an anti-fun fuddy-duddy or similar.
I spent a while searching around, but didn't find any other caricature prints or book illustrations with that symbolism. It's me I bet. That pump must have been a well known motif of anti-drinking mockery t'would have thought.

Karla said...

Pump=prohibition... Brilliant!

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