Caricature and Other Comic Art
In All Times and Many Lands
By James Parton
Much as the ancients differed from ourselves in other particulars, they certainly laughed at one another just as we do, for precisely the same reasons, and employed every art, device, and implement of ridicule which is known to us.
Observe this rude and childish attempt at a drawing. Go into any boys' school to-day, and turn over the slates and copy-books, or visit an inclosure where men are obliged to pass idle days, and you will be likely to find pictures conceived in this taste, and executed with this degree of artistic skill. But the drawing dates back nearly eighteen centuries. It was done on one of the hot, languid days of August, A.D. 79, by a Roman soldier with a piece of red chalk on a wall of his barracks in the city of Pompeii. On the 23d of August, in the year 79, occurred the eruption of Vesuvius, which buried not Italian cities only, but Antiquity itself, and, by burying, preserved it for the instruction of after-times. In disinterred Pompeii, the Past stands revealed to us, and we remark with a kind of infantile surprise the great number of particulars in which the people of that day were even such as we are. There was found the familiar apothecary's shop, with a box of pills on the counter, and a roll of material that was about to be made up when the apothecary heard the warning thunder and fled. The baker's shop remained, with a loaf of bread stamped with the maker's name. A sculptor's studio was strewed with blocks of marble, unfinished statues, mallets, compasses, chisels, and saws. A thousand objects attest that when the fatal eruption burst upon these cities, life and its activities were going forward in all essential particulars as they are at this moment in any rich and luxurious town of Southern Europe.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.68(d)|