Rude Britannia room guide: Politics

Gerald Scarfe Belgrano Nightmare Thatcher Wakes Screaming 1982 a figure in bed with a huge hooked nose and curlers in her hair awakens screaming as a monster emerges from a burning battle ship

Gerald Scarfe
Belgrano Nightmare – Thatcher Wakes Screaming 1982

House of Commons Collection © Gerald Scarfe

James Gillray The Giant Factotum Amusing Himself 1797 a giant man surrounded by and stepping on little people

James Gillray
The Giant Factotum Amusing Himself 1797

Andrew Edmunds, London

Roger Law Thatcha Ten Years of the Dragon 1989 caricature of Margaret Thatcher carving a peice of meat shaped like the united kingdom from a globe

Roger Law
Thatcha! – Ten Years of the Dragon 1989

Spitting Image Workshop © Spitting Image

Chamber pot with head of Napoleon c1805 ceramic chamber pot with a bust of napoleon inside

Chamber pot with head of Napoleon c.1805

Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

James Gillray The Plum pudding in Danger  or  State Epicures taking Un Petit Souper 1805

James Gillray
The Plum-pudding in Danger; - or - State Epicures taking Un Petit Souper 1805

Andrew Edmunds, London

kennardphillipps Photo Op 2007 Tony Blair taking a picture of himself on a mobile phone against the backdrop of smoke and flames

kennardphillipps
Photo Op 2007

© kennardphillipps

Since the eighteenth century political caricature has had a very visible role in British public life, with politicians, royalty and celebrities being lampooned in comic prints, cartoons and newspaper strips.

The works in this room focus on a series of individuals who have been caricatured in particularly effective forms – Fox and Pitt in the eighteenth century, Napoleon, Gladstone and Disraeli in the nineteenth century, Hitler in the 1930s and 1940s, and Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair in our own times.

Acting as our host for this room, caricaturist Gerald Scarfe offers his own versions of some of these figures, and gives us some insights into the art of caricature.

See also

Watch

Rude Britannia: Gerald Scarfe

TateShots' Comic Art trail continues with a look at satirical cartoonist Gerald Scarfe.