[London]: [Rudolph Ackermann], . Engraved caricature print, measuring 3.75 x 8.25 inches (imprint trimmed). Occasional stray spot.
Delightful example of the “line and dot” caricature craze of the Regency period. Although the art of the stick figure dates back to prehistoric times, English caricaturist George Moutard Woodward is generally credited with inspiring the modern “pinmen” genre with his “Multum in Parvo, or Lilliputian Sketches” early in the nineteenth century. Soon publishers across London were turning out prints of comically expressive pinmen hunting, riding, dueling, flirting, and acting Shakespeare. In February 1817, Ackermann’s Repository of Arts published a satirical poem, “Dottator et Lineator Loquitur,” from the perspective of an exultant caricaturist: “I know that I can do much more / Than artists ever did before; / With but a DOT, and eke a LINE, / In ev’ry shape and act I’ll shine.” The poem was illustrated with a series of pinmen performing scenes from a ball: “Asking to Dance,” “Cross Hands,” “Hornpipe,” and so on. This engraving, printed on heavy paper and trimmed within the plate mark, features the same dancers depicted in the pages of Ackermann’s. A very good caricature print.