Masterclass in Glorious Deprevation…

As cartoon pastiches go, it doesn’t really get any better than this one by Martin Rowson in the Guardian today (15.02.07. The link changes, so look backwards in the archives). Using Hogarth’s famous engraving Gin Lane to comment on the recent Unicef report he succeeds spectacularly in evoking associations to the deprivation and debauchery of 18th century London. It’s the perfect image to draw on. Britannia herself becomes the drunk woman dropping who drops her child without taking much notice, and around her both Blair (and Brown) and Thatcher share in the decadence.

(Major incidentally always seems to be left out of these things… Give it another 10 years and he’ll be ranked up there with such prime ministerial giants as Andrew Bonar Law)

Stylistically Martin Rowson has many links to Hogarth, and his craftsmanship is probably the most impressive out of anyone working in the major newspapers at the present time.
To finish it off, the current Hogarth exhibition means Gin Lane is likely to be an image many will have recently seen either in the exhibition itself or in the media coverage of it, which certainly helps in contexualisation of Rowson’s cartoon.
As pastiches go, it’s a masterclass.

Oh, by the way, talking of masterclasses, there’s FINALLY a Dave Brown book on the way, with his famous Rogues’ Gallery cartoons from the Indy on Saturdays. Pastiches of famous paintings. O joy.


I got the Tate Etc. through the door yesterday, and found this article on Hogarth, Gin Lane and 18th century London – written by Martin Rowson!

There’s also a rather interesting piece on Comic book art and artists, which among other things brings up the importance of…you guessed it – Hogarth! For anyone remotely interesting in comics, or simply the art of putting pictures together in a sequence, this is required reading!


I didn’t notice it at the time, but on the same day (15.02.07) as Martin’s Hogarth pastiche graced the comment pages of the Guardian, Garland had this version in the Telegraph.


3 Responses to “Masterclass in Glorious Deprevation…”

  1. Boris dies in a blaze of boozy cartoons... « poldraw Says:

    […] drunken(?) snub to Taoiseach Albert Reynolds in 1994. Steve bases his image on the ever useful Gin Lane , and links it with the iconic images of Yeltsin on top of a tank. Dave’s cartoon shows mostly […]

  2. Tim Benson Says:

    Dave Brown’s Rogues’ Gallery

    2 May – 1 July 2007

    What exactly was the joke in Leonardo’s famous cartoon and why is the Laughing Cavalier so amused? These are just two of the mysteries that this exhibition of Dave Brown’s original cartoons from The Independent fails to solve. However what you will discover in Brown’s reinterpretation of the Old Masters is a series of wickedly funny satires. Here he employs his inimitable draughtsmanship to stunning purpose, poking a paintbrush in the eye of our political leaders, and twisting the palette knife to rib-tickling effect. The Rogues’ Gallery series has appeared in The Independent since January 2004, and this exhibition is a selection of the best of over three years of cartoons.

    The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated limited edition catalogue.

    The Political Cartoon Gallery, 32 Store Street, London WC1E 7BS, is open Monday to Friday 9.30am – 5.30pm and on Saturdays between 11.30am – 5.30pm. Phone Dr Tim Benson on 020 7580 1114 for further details or images email him at

  3. Rogues' Gallery - at Tim Benson's one... « poldraw Says:

    […] a great plug for the Dave Brown exhibition at the Political Cartoon Gallery in the comments of an earlier post. I think the press release deserves a post of its […]

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