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Cruikshank, George, 1792 - 1878



  • Existence: 27 September 1792 - 1 February 1878


George Cruikshank was born in London on 27 September 1792 to Isaac Cruikshank, a leading caricaturist of the late 1790s. George started his artistic career working as his father’s apprentice and assistant with his brother, Isaac Robert.

George’s artistic career was characterised for his social caricatures and political satire, which criticised and ridiculed English life, politicians and the monarchy alike. His work included the personification of England in the figure of John Bull, which he developed with James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson, the illustrations for The House That Jack Built and Pierce Egan's Life in London, in which the characters Tom and Jerry.

In 1823, George started delving into the world of book illustration when he produced the graphics for the English translation of the Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tales. This work was followed by his illustrations for Charles Dickens’ books, which included Oliver Twist and the edited Memoirs of Joseph Grimaldi.

In the late 1840s, Cruikshank, who was already a controversial figure not only because of his satirical work but also for his racist views and extreme patriotism, started a personal battle against alcohol and smoking, supplying illustrations for the National Temperance Society and the Total Abstinence Society, among others and giving lectures.

George developed palsy in the later years of his life and his health progressively declined until his death on 1 February 1878.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Bill Barnes Collection

Reference code: NFA0172
Scope and Contents

Programmes, posters and photographs mainly related to the Poole family's travelling Myriorama show.

Dates: 1881 - 2017

Drury Lane Theatre Print, Published 11 August 1821

Reference code: 178V20.2
Scope and Contents

Tom and Bob enjoying a theatrical treat. Part of 36 scenes from real life, designed and etched by I.Robert and George Cruikshank in the book: Life in London: or, the day and night scenes of Jerry Hawthorn, Esq., and his elegant friend Corinthian Tom, accompanied by Bob Logic, the Oxonian, in their rambles and sprees through the Metropolis. London published by Jones and Co. Hand coloured etching and aquatint on paper.

Dates: Published 11 August 1821

Original Artworks, c1821 - 1869

Reference code: 178V20
Scope and Contents

Small groups of artist prints depicting scenes of music hall and variety entertainment, magic and clowning and watercolour of battleships. Also prints of the London Coliseum and other archicture in Regent's Park.

Dates: c1821 - 1869

Additional filters:

Archival Object 2
Collection 1
Acrobats 1
Aerialists 1
Anglo-Afghan Wars 1
Anglo-Burmese War, 3rd, 1885 1
Anglo-Egyptian War, 1882 1