“ Admirable (Landseer’s) Intellectual Grasp of the Subject ”
where the Government commands one Thing only :
Ever more foolhardily ahead with the Tax Burden
Landseer, Thomas (1795 London 1880). Tax Cart. Drawn by a blood-thirsty mastiff with the axle smoking. The driver a monkey dressed as human. Etching. (1827/28.) Inscribed: Tho Landseer, otherwise as below. 6¼ × 7⅞ in (16 × 20.1 cm).
Rümann, Das Illustrierte Buch des 19. Jahrhunderts, Leipsic 1930, pp. 99 ff.; Nagler 1; Thieme-Becker XXII, 305. – On especially wide-margined strong paper. – Almost only in the right white outer margin quite weak foxing. – With distich from Thomas Moore’s (1779-1852, “Ireland’s National Bard”) Tom Crib’s Memorial to Congress published 1819 under the pseudonym By one of the Fancy:
“ Ya — hip my haerties! here am I . That drive the Constitution Fly. ”
(“The legally trained mind now and then impairing Moore’s lyric poetry celebrates its biggest triumphs in satiric, frequently political poems referring to current events” aimed especially at the Tories “with the caustic wit peculiar to him” [Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., XI, 1889, p. 787]. His Tom Crib’s … within the Moore volume V of the series British Satire 1785-1840 at Pickering & Chatta, London 2003.)
Fine impression on large paper from the famous set of the “Monkeyana” , one of Landseer’s but few early and thus typical works of after 195 years
outrageously raving irresponsible topicality
in “civil” lead German republic .
“ That Thomas Landseer may be judged
only by such illustrations
a little book with woodcuts proves which show next to nothing of his intellect ” .
Worked since 1827 the 25 etchings incl. title were published in numbers and with classical captions at Moon, Boys & Graves in London till 1828 (The English Catalogue of Books: January to December) in three editions: standard edition in quarto, edition on larger paper in large quarto, edition with proofs in large quarto, too. Besides copies on mounted China.
Otherwise qualified by Rümann i. a.:
“ Much more important was Edwin’s brother Thomas Landseer …
… in the ’20s he distinguished himself by a series of 25 plates that were published 1828 under the title of ‘Monkeyana’ (ills. 57).
Technically his etchings are masterly ,
no less admirable the intellectual grasp of the subject. With much humor and sharp observation he transfers the plain life of his time to the monkey’s life. His sarcasm is biting, almost vicious. ”
And Stechow sovereignly sums up :
“ Monkeys always fascinated artists ”
(Pieter Bruegel, Cologne 1977, page 76).
“ The monkey as the animal most similar to man plays an important rôle in art history since antiquity.
As figura diaboli ,
as symbol of sin and the fall of man ,
as fool , as figure of vanity
he appears in most varied context … (A)lso the usual religious reference in the interpretation of the monkey as
man mixed up in his passion for profane things … ”
(Hella Robels, Frans Snyders, Munich 1989, page 43).
Later Thomas Landseer rather devoted himself largely to the reproduction of the animal depictions by his brother Sir Edwin.
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