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Joseph Swain Collection

Joseph Swain was a talented artist who left his mark on the political and artistic landscape of the late 19th century. His works, such as "Happy Hampstead

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Happy Hampstead!, 1875. Artist: Joseph Swain

Happy Hampstead!, 1875. Artist: Joseph Swain
Happy Hampstead!, 1875. A suburban family is shown enjoying a day out in the park. Behind them lurk the shrouded and menacing figures of Smallpox and Fever

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Conservative Programme, 1872. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Conservative Programme, 1872. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Conservative Programme, 1872. This cartoon shows Benjamin Disraeli, the Conservative Leader of the Conservative Party. He is being questioned by Lord Abercorn about the Conservative policy

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: A Railway Revolution, 1874. Artist: Joseph Swain

A Railway Revolution, 1874. Artist: Joseph Swain
A Railway Revolution, 1874. A large lady seeks advice from the Railway guard at St Pancras. From Punch, or the London Charivari, October 10, 1874

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Irish Frankenstein, 1882. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Irish Frankenstein, 1882. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Irish Frankenstein, 1882. An awestruck Charles Parnell of the Irish Nationalist Party is crouching before his Creature which is depicted with the usual simian features of the Irishman in Punch

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Save Me from my Friends!, 1878. Artist: Joseph Swain

Save Me from my Friends!, 1878. Artist: Joseph Swain
Save Me from my Friends!, 1878. The Ameer of Afghanistan stands between the Russian bear, jaws dripping with saliva, and the British lion with teeth bared

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Divided Skirt, 1886. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Divided Skirt, 1886. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Divided Skirt, 1886. This cartoon shows the Liberal Prime Minister, Gladstone. Now 76 years of age, and in his third term in office, Gladstone was undoubtedly the grandee of the Commons

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Balfours Irrepressible Donkey, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

Balfours Irrepressible Donkey, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
Balfours Irrepressible Donkey, 1888. Arthur James Balfour was the Chief Secretary for Ireland at the beginning of 1888 in Lord Salisburys Conservative administration.The cartoon is accompanied by a

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Wind and the Sun, 1886. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Wind and the Sun, 1886. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Wind and the Sun, 1886. Irish Discontent in the sunlight of the Liberal Prime Minister, Gladstone. On the other side, the wind comes from the Conservative Leader in the House of Lords

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Start, 1886. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Start, 1886. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Start, 1886. On the left at the starting line is the Grand Old Man of politics, the Liberal Prime Minister, William Gladstone

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: A New Piece, 1882. Artist: Joseph Swain

A New Piece, 1882. Artist: Joseph Swain
A New Piece, 1882. The Liberal Prime Minister, Gladstone, has submitted his new piece to Mr John Bull in his guise as a theatre manager

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Irish Devil-Fish, 1881. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Irish Devil-Fish, 1881. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Irish Devil-Fish, 1881. The Liberal Prime Minister, Gladstone, is depicted wrestling with the mighty octopus of the Irish Land League

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Intercepted, 1881. Artist: Joseph Swain

Intercepted, 1881. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Liberal Prime Minister, Gladstone, also held the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer and this cartoon shows him in a chefs outfit feeding his dog from the bowl of surplus

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Great Autumn Manoeuvre, 1873. Artist: Joseph Swain

Great Autumn Manoeuvre, 1873. Artist: Joseph Swain
Great Autumn Manoeuvre, 1873. Watched by a baleful Disraeli, Leader of the Conservative opposition, the Liberal Prime Minister, Gladstone, hands a puzzled yokel his franchise

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Imperial Witches, 1872. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Imperial Witches, 1872. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Imperial Witches, 1872. Mr Punch plays Macbeth to the three witches who represent the Emperors of Germany, Austria and Russia

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Out of the Bag!, 1871. Artist: Joseph Swain

Out of the Bag!, 1871. Artist: Joseph Swain
Out of the Bag!, 1871. The cat is let out of the bag. The Conservative leader of the opposition, Mr Disraeli, suggests that perhaps the Conservative statesmen, represented here by Lord Butterfingers

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: An Ugly Rush!, 1870. Artist: Joseph Swain

An Ugly Rush!, 1870. Artist: Joseph Swain
An Ugly Rush!, 1870. Womans Vote Bill. A stout John Bull, the representative of the British people or, in this case, British men

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Mose in Egitto !!!, 1875. Artist: Joseph Swain

Mose in Egitto !!!, 1875. Artist: Joseph Swain
Mose in Egitto !!!, 1875.The Conservative Prime Minister, Disraeli, holds the key to India. This relates to the purchase by Britains government of the Suez Canal shares

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: An Unexpected Cut, 1874. Artist: Joseph Swain

An Unexpected Cut, 1874. Artist: Joseph Swain
An Unexpected Cut, 1874. With a felled tree entitled Irish Established Church behind him, Mr Gladstone, the Liberal Leader of the Opposition

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: A Seat in St. Jamess Park, 1870. Creator: Joseph Swain

A Seat in St. Jamess Park, 1870. Creator: Joseph Swain
A Seat in St. Jamess Park, 1870

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Count Burckhardt (for 'Once a Week, 'September 27, 1862), 1862

Count Burckhardt (for "Once a Week, "September 27, 1862), 1862
Count Burckhardt (for " Once a Week, " September 27, 1862), 1862. The ballad Burckhardt von Keller tells of a count bewitched, leaving his bethrothed to wonder what has befallen him

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Majors Daughter (for 'Once a Week, 'June 21, 1862), 1862

The Majors Daughter (for "Once a Week, "June 21, 1862), 1862
The Majors Daughter (for " Once a Week, " June 21, 1862), 1862. Story of Clara Vinrace, a young English woman who joins her parents in India and falls in love with an older man

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Relief Fund in Lancashire (for 'Once a Week, 'July 26, 1862), 1862

The Relief Fund in Lancashire (for "Once a Week, "July 26, 1862), 1862
The Relief Fund in Lancashire (for " Once a Week, " July 26, 1862), 1862. Concerning the flight of the Lancashire weavers

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Majors Daughter: Clara Vinraces Farewell to her Father, 1862

The Majors Daughter: Clara Vinraces Farewell to her Father, 1862

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: London Bridge (new), London, 1872. Artist: Joseph Swain

London Bridge (new), London, 1872. Artist: Joseph Swain
View of London Bridge, London in 1872, looking south. The bridge is crammed with a variety of horse drawn vehicles ranging from an omnibus, carts and carriages

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Teheran, c1880. Artist: Joseph Swain

Teheran, c1880. Artist: Joseph Swain
Teheran, c1880. Episode of the Indian Rebellion (1857). From British Battles on Land and Sea, Vol. III, by James Grant. [Cassell Petter & Galpin, London, Paris & New York, c1880]

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Pagodas, near Pegu, c1880. Artist: Joseph Swain

Pagodas, near Pegu, c1880. Artist: Joseph Swain
Pagodas, near Pegu, c1880. Episode of the Second Anglo-Burmese War (1852-1853). From British Battles on Land and Sea, Vol. III, by James Grant

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Ticonderoga Fort, c1880. Artist: Joseph Swain

Ticonderoga Fort, c1880. Artist: Joseph Swain
Ticonderoga Fort, c1880. From British Battles on Land and Sea, Vol. III, by James Grant. [Cassell Petter & Galpin, London, Paris & New York, c1880]

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Exeter, c1880. Artist: Joseph Swain

Exeter, c1880. Artist: Joseph Swain
Exeter, c1880. Episode from the Exeter Conspiracy (1538).From British Battles on Land and Sea, Vol. III, by James Grant. [Cassell Petter & Galpin, London, Paris & New York, c1880]

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Fight at Abracrampa, 1880. Artist: Joseph Swain

Fight at Abracrampa, 1880. Artist: Joseph Swain
Fight at Abracrampa, c1880. Episode of the Third Anglo-Ashanti War (1873-1874). From British Battles on Land and Sea, Vol. III, by James Grant

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Heights of Alma, c1880. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Heights of Alma, c1880. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Heights of Alma, c1880. Episode of the Crimean War (1853-1856). From British Battles on Land and Sea, Vol. III, by James Grant. [Cassell Petter & Galpin, London, Paris & New York, c1880]

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The British Army Crossing the Sutlej, c1880. Artist: Joseph Swain

The British Army Crossing the Sutlej, c1880. Artist: Joseph Swain
The British Army Crossing the Sutlej, c1880. Episode of the First Anglo-Sikh War (1845-1846). From British Battles on Land and Sea, Vol. III, by James Grant

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Old view of St Jamess Palace, Westminster, London, before the Great Fire of London, c1870 (1878)

Old view of St Jamess Palace, Westminster, London, before the Great Fire of London, c1870 (1878). Artist: Joseph Swain
Old view of St Jamess Palace, Westminster, London, before the Great Fire of London, c1870 (1878). Situated on the Mall just to the north of St Jamess Park

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Old Curiosity Shop near Lincolns Inn Fields, London, c1860 (1911). Artist: Joseph Swain

The Old Curiosity Shop near Lincolns Inn Fields, London, c1860 (1911). Artist: Joseph Swain
The Old Curiosity Shop near Lincolns Inn Fields, London, c1860 (1911). Situated at 13 Portsmouth Street, Holborn, the Old Curiosity Shop dates from around 1567

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Clearing the Course!, July 7, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

Clearing the Course!, July 7, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
Clearing the Course!, July 7, 1888. William Henry Smith, First Lord of the Treasury, and his Conservative colleague, Charles Ritchie, attempt to steer the Ship of Government across crowded waters

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Vigil, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Vigil, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Vigil, 1888. Wilhelm II is shown praying for guidance at the foot of the tomb of his late predecessor, Wilhelm I. Wilhelm II was the grandson of Queen Victoria and is here presented as a fine

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: New Friends, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

New Friends, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
New Friends, 1888. Joseph Chamberlain, on the left, raises a toast to Mr Bung. With the franchise being ever extended, a politician must always be on the look-out for new friends

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Red-Tape Tangle, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Red-Tape Tangle, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Red-Tape Tangle, 1888. The Great British Lion roars out his distress, tied down as he is by red tape and officialdom. There were many complaints at the time that the increasing amount of red tape

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Three Jolly Post Boys!, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

Three Jolly Post Boys!, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
Three Jolly Post Boys!, 1888. William Henry Smith is on the left in this cartoon. He was the First Lord of the Treasury and Leader of the House in Lord Salisburys Conservative government

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Taking Soundings, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

Taking Soundings, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
Taking Soundings, 1888. The Liberal Leader of the Opposition, Mr Gladstone, is on board ship and taking soundings of recent public opinion

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Mr. Punchs Parallels. No. 6, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

Mr. Punchs Parallels. No. 6, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
Mr. Punchs Parallels. No. 6, 1888. This cartoon depicts the Liberal Leader of the Opposition, William Gladstone, astride his horse

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Master Ritchies Easter-Egg, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

Master Ritchies Easter-Egg, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
Master Ritchies Easter-Egg, 1888. This cartoon shows Charles Thomson Ritchie, a member of the Conservative party. He had recently introduced a new Local Government Bill

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Consol-ation, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

Consol-ation, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
Consol-ation, 1888. Mr George Goschen is the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, appointed by Salisbury after the resignation of Lord Randolph Churchill

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Germany. March 9, 1888, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

Germany. March 9, 1888, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
Germany. March 9, 1888, 1888. The German Eagle sits mournfully on a rock high above the sinking sun. This cartoon illustrates the recent death of the German Emperor, Wilhelm I of Prussia

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Best of Friends, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Best of Friends, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Best of Friends, 1888. The Liberal Leader of the Opposition, Mr Gladstone (left), takes a drink with Mr WH Smith from the Conservative Party

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: Such Good Boys!, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

Such Good Boys!, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
Such Good Boys!, 1888. Master Gladstone, the Liberal Leader of the Opposition, and the Conservative Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury, promise to be good boys as Mr Speaker reaches for his birch

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Return of the Wanderer, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Return of the Wanderer, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Return of the Wanderer, 1888. Little Lord Randolph Churchill returns in a furtive manner, watched by a couple of astute journalists

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The New Junction, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain

The New Junction, 1888. Artist: Joseph Swain
The New Junction, 1888. The two pointsmen are Sir William Harcourt and Spencer Cavendish Hartington. Recently, two railways lines had combined at a key junction to put in a state of the art

Background imageJoseph Swain Collection: The Grand Old Janus, 1887. Artist: Joseph Swain

The Grand Old Janus, 1887. Artist: Joseph Swain
The Grand Old Janus, 1887. Gladstone is the statue of Janus, the Roman god of doorways. Janus is usually depicted with two faces looking in different directions



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Joseph Swain was a talented artist who left his mark on the political and artistic landscape of the late 19th century. His works, such as "Happy Hampstead. " and "The Conservative Programme, " showcased his skill in capturing both joyous moments and serious political undertones. In "A Railway Revolution, " Swain depicted the transformative power of technology, highlighting the impact of railways on society. Similarly, in "The Irish Frankenstein, " he delved into the complexities of Irish politics during that time. Swain's art also explored social issues, as seen in "The Divided Skirt" which addressed gender norms and women's rights. He continued to tackle political satire with pieces like "Balfours Irrepressible Donkey, " mocking prominent figures for their actions or policies. "The Wind and the Sun" portrayed nature's power over man, while "The Start" captured a moment filled with anticipation and excitement. In "A New Piece, " Swain showcased his versatility by creating a captivating artwork that stood out among his other works. His satirical illustrations extended to Ireland with pieces like "The Irish Devil-Fish" and "Intercepted. " These artworks reflected tensions between Ireland and Britain during this period. Lastly, Swain demonstrated his ability to capture military maneuvers in pieces like "Great Autumn Manoeuvre. " Through these paintings, he highlighted not only strategic planning but also the human element involved in warfare. Joseph Swain's body of work encompasses various themes from politics to social issues to nature. With each piece, he brought forth thought-provoking ideas through intricate details and skilled brushstrokes. His legacy lives on as an artist who used his talent to shed light on important topics of his time.