Seeing Satire in the Eighteenth Century

BookSeeing Satire in the Eighteenth Century

Seeing Satire in the Eighteenth Century

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, 2013:02


February 14th, 2013

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A moment in history when verbal satire, caricature, and comic performance exerted unprecedented influence on society, the Enlightenment sustained a complex, though now practically invisible, culture of visual humor. In Seeing satire in the eighteenth century contributors recapture the unique energy of comic images in the works of key artists and authors whose satirical intentions have been obscured by time.
From a decoding of Charles-Germain de Saint-Aubin’s Livre de caricatures as a titillating jibe at royal and courtly figures, a reinterpretation of the man’s muff as an emblem of foreignness, foppishness and impotence, a reappraisal of F. X. Messerschmidt’s sculpted heads as comic critiques of Lavater’s theories of physiognomy, to the press denigration of William Wilberforce’s abolitionist efforts, visual satire is shown to extend to all areas of society and culture across Europe and North America. By analysing the hidden meaning of these key works, contributors reveal how visual comedy both mediates and intensifies more serious social critique. The power of satire’s appeal to the eye was as clearly understood, and as widely exploited in the Enlightenment as it is today.
Includes over 80 illustrations.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Half Title2
Title Page4
Copyright Page5
ELIZABETH C. MANSFIELD and KELLY MALONE, Introduction: seeing satire in the Age of Reason10
EMMANUEL SCHWARTZ, 1. Satire unmasked by reading24
ERIC ROSENBERG, 2. The impossibility of painting: the satiric inevitability of John Singleton Copley’s Boy with a squirrel50
JULIE-ANNE PLAX, 3. Watteau’s witticisms: visual humor and sociability72
EMILY RICHARDSON, 4. ‘Tu n’as pas tout vü!’: seeing satire in the Saint-Aubin Livre de caricatures90
MELISSA LEE HYDE, 5. Needling: embroidery and satire in the hands of Charles-Germain de Saint-Aubin116
KIMBERLY CHRISMAN-CAMPBELL, 6. ‘He is not dressed without amuff’: muffs, masculinity, and la mode in English satire140
TREVOR BURNARD, 7. ‘A compound mongrel mixture’: racially coded humor, satire, and the denigration of white Creoles inthe Bri158
REVA WOLF, 8. Seeing satire in the peepshow176
STEVEN MINUK, 9. Swift’s satire of vision206
MICHAEL YONAN, 10. Messerschmidt, the Hogarth of sculpture218
KATHERINE MANNHEIMER, 11. Anatomizing print’s perils: Augustan satire’s textual bodies236
MARCUS C. LEVITT, 12. ‘Women’s wiles’ in Mikhail Chulkov’s The Comely cook256
List of illustrations276