Works included in this catalogue
Cruikshank 29 etchings {1899} NGV [ET]
* Cruikshank & Mottram The Worship of Bacchus… 1864 {1868} NGV [PR]

In the first half of his career, Cruikshank produced numerous caricatures of the foibles of early 19th-century politics and fashion, in the tradition of Gillray, Rowlandson, and his father Isaac Cruickshank (1746-1811), earning him the nickname of “the modern Hogarth.”

In Pierce Egan’s Life in London (1821), he and his brother Isaac Robert (1789-1856) showed two “men about town” (named Tom and Jerry) sampling London’s  entertainments, from taverns to the Royal Academy (the NGV holds impressions acquired after 1905). He was also a prolific book illustrator, especially of the novels of Charles Dickens, whom he knew well, though the two later fell out.

In later life, Cruikshank became a leading light of the Temperance Society, the inspiration for his large polemical painting The Worship of Bacchus (Tate Gallery, 1860-62) and the 1864 engraving after it listed above.

Refs.

There are various useful general studies, e.g. John Wardroper, Caricatures of George Cruikshank, London, 1977; and Hilary & Mary Evans, The Man who Drew the Drunkard’s Daughter: the Life and Art of George Cruikshank, London, 1978; see also AKL 22 (1999), pp.470-72 and Bénézit 4, pp.236-37

For works by Cruikshank in the NGV (including several acquired in the Felton era), see https://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/artist/3577/