|Taking It Easy|
Figaro in London was one of several 19th-century publications featuring satire and caricature. Among the famous names in this business were George Cruikshank (whose caricatures have often adorned our blog posts), William Hone, and Leigh Hunt.
Since we’re unfamiliar with the individuals and issues being mocked, with varying degrees of savagery, much of the satire can be impenetrable to us.
In this case, though, I think readers will have no problem relating to Figaro’s satire about legislators—fair or unfair—who seem to have mastered the art of, as Charles Dickens put it, How Not To Do It (please scroll down to Chapter X).
Images: Head shot of Lord Melbourne from Wikipedia (detail from copy of larger portrait by John Partridge at National Portrait Gallery).
Head shot of Lord Russell via Wikipedia (detail from larger portrait by Lowes Cato Dickinson at National Portrait Gallery).
If you look up these gentlemen at the National Portrait Gallery, you’ll find numerous paintings and sketches, including somewhat younger versions of themselves, closer to the time of the Figaro piece.
Satiric image, "Taking It Easy ," from Figaro in London.
Clicking on the image will enlarge it. Clicking on the caption will allow you to read at the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.