The Spread of Culture Downwards

WAG 4676


This work is inscribed: "Ullo, Mary, what's this? Name of the 'Ouse?" "No, Mr. Ignorance; it's a Latin word, and means 'Please to wipe your feet!" This cartoon was published in 'Punch' on 11th November 1893. 'Punch' was a magazine founded in 1841 by writer Henry Mayhew and engraver Ebenezer Landells. The idea came from the French satire newsapaper, 'Le Charivari'. In homage, the first issue of 'Punch' was subtitled, ‘The London Charivari’. 'Punch' was internationally famous for its humour and wit. Its political and social cartoons captured English life in the 19th and 20th centuries. The term ‘cartoon’ previously referred to a preliminary sketch made for murals or stained glass windows. 'Punch' and other illustrated publications adapted the term and introduced the concept of ‘cartoon’ as we know it today.