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Satirist Collection

Satirists have long been the masters of wit and irony, using their sharp tongues to expose society's follies

Background imageSatirist Collection: Nasreddin - Seljuq satirist

Nasreddin - Seljuq satirist
Nasreddin or Nasreddin Hodja or Mullah Nasreddin Hooja or Mullah Nasruddin (1208-1284) was a Seljuq satirist, born in Hortu Village in Sivrihisar, Eskisehir Province, Turkey

Background imageSatirist Collection: DOROTHY PARKER (1893-1967). American writer. N

DOROTHY PARKER (1893-1967). American writer. N

Background imageSatirist Collection: Horace in Archway

Horace in Archway
QUINTUS HORATIUS FLACCUS Roman lyric poet and satirist

Background imageSatirist Collection: Fanny Burney, c1784-1785, (1943). Creator: Unknown

Fanny Burney, c1784-1785, (1943). Creator: Unknown
Fanny Burney, c1784-1785, (1943). Portrait of Frances Burney (1752-1840), English satirical novelist, diarist and playwright, and daughter of the musicologist Dr Charles Burney

Background imageSatirist Collection: The Library of the Royal Institution, Albemarle Street, (pencil

The Library of the Royal Institution, Albemarle Street, (pencil
651805 The Library of the Royal Institution, Albemarle Street, (pencil, pen and ink and watercolour) by Rowlandson, Thomas (1756-1827); 19.7x27.7 cm; Private Collection; (add.info)

Background imageSatirist Collection: Mr James Gillray, from a portrait by himself, c1800. Artist: James Gillray

Mr James Gillray, from a portrait by himself, c1800. Artist: James Gillray
Mr James Gillray, from a portrait by himself, c1800. Self-portrait of British satirical cartoonist Gillray (1756-1815). Engraving after a miniature

Background imageSatirist Collection: Self Portrait, engraved by J. Mollison (engraving)

Self Portrait, engraved by J. Mollison (engraving)
XJF396071 Self Portrait, engraved by J. Mollison (engraving) by Hogarth, William (1697-1764) (after); Private Collection; English, out of copyright

Hudibras and Ralpho in the stocks
5311996 Hudibras and Ralpho in the stocks; (add.info.: Engraving depicting Hudibras and Ralpho in the stocks, characters from Samuel Butler's 'Hudibras')

Background imageSatirist Collection: Woodcut illustration from a 15th century edition of 'Das Narrenschiff' (The Ship of Fools)

Woodcut illustration from a 15th century edition of 'Das Narrenschiff' (The Ship of Fools)
5306425 Woodcut illustration from a 15th century edition of 'Das Narrenschiff' (The Ship of Fools).; Universal History Archive/UIG.

Background imageSatirist Collection: Mr Pickwick from 'The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club'

Mr Pickwick from 'The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club'
5669018 Mr Pickwick from 'The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club' by Reynolds, Frank (1876-1953); (add.info.: Charles Dickens (1812-1870)); Photo © AF Fotografie.

Background imageSatirist Collection: 'Tony Weller of the Belle Savage' from 'The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club' by Charles

'Tony Weller of the Belle Savage' from 'The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club' by Charles Dickens
5669013 'Tony Weller of the Belle Savage' from 'The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club' by Charles Dickens by Reynolds

Background imageSatirist Collection: Seneca the Younger committing suicide

Seneca the Younger committing suicide
5310219 Seneca the Younger committing suicide; (add.info.: Woodblock engraving depicting Seneca the Younger committing suicide in his bath)

Background imageSatirist Collection: Portrait of Daniel Defoe (print)

Portrait of Daniel Defoe (print)
864210 Portrait of Daniel Defoe (print); (add.info.: Daniel Defoe (1661?-1731) English author, satirist and adventurer. Remembered now for his novels "Robinson Crusoe" (1719)

Background imageSatirist Collection: Portrait of Voltaire, c1740. Creator: Maurice-Quentin de La Tour

Portrait of Voltaire, c1740. Creator: Maurice-Quentin de La Tour
Portrait of Voltaire, c1740

Background imageSatirist Collection: Pietro Aretino in the Studio of Tintoretto, 1822. Creator: Pierre Nolasque Bergeret

Pietro Aretino in the Studio of Tintoretto, 1822. Creator: Pierre Nolasque Bergeret
Pietro Aretino in the Studio of Tintoretto, 1822. Scene depicting an interaction between the artist Tintoretto (left), and the literary critic and satirist Pietro Aretino

Background imageSatirist Collection: Le Triomphe de Voltaire, 1778/79. Creator: A. Duplessis

Le Triomphe de Voltaire, 1778/79. Creator: A. Duplessis
Le Triomphe de Voltaire, 1778/79

Background imageSatirist Collection: Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778), writer, c18th century. Creator: Anon

Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778), writer, c18th century. Creator: Anon
Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire (1694-1778), writer, c18th century

Background imageSatirist Collection: Parker, Dorothy, portrait photograph, 1912 Nov. 30. Creator: Arnold Genthe

Parker, Dorothy, portrait photograph, 1912 Nov. 30. Creator: Arnold Genthe
Parker, Dorothy, portrait photograph, 1912 Nov. 30

Background imageSatirist Collection: Parker, Dorothy, portrait photograph, 1912 Nov. 30. Creator: Arnold Genthe

Parker, Dorothy, portrait photograph, 1912 Nov. 30. Creator: Arnold Genthe
Parker, Dorothy, portrait photograph, 1912 Nov. 30

Background imageSatirist Collection: Portrait of Voltaire (1694-1778) in his study, between 1694 and 1778. Creator: Unknown

Portrait of Voltaire (1694-1778) in his study, between 1694 and 1778. Creator: Unknown
Portrait of Voltaire (1694-1778) in his study, between 1694 and 1778

Background imageSatirist Collection: Portrait of Pietro Aretino, ca. 1517-20. Creator: Marcantonio Raimondi

Portrait of Pietro Aretino, ca. 1517-20. Creator: Marcantonio Raimondi
Portrait of Pietro Aretino, ca. 1517-20

Background imageSatirist Collection: Portrait of Voltaire (1694-1778) in 1718, between 1718 and 1724. Creator: Nicolas de Largilliere

Portrait of Voltaire (1694-1778) in 1718, between 1718 and 1724. Creator: Nicolas de Largilliere
Portrait of Voltaire (1694-1778) in 1718, between 1718 and 1724

Background imageSatirist Collection: Voltaire on rising in Ferney, dictating to his secretary Collini, c1772. Creator: Jean Huber

Voltaire on rising in Ferney, dictating to his secretary Collini, c1772. Creator: Jean Huber
Voltaire on rising in Ferney, dictating to his secretary Collini, c1772

Background imageSatirist Collection: Portrait of the Poet Pietro Aretino, from Cabinet Reynst; Variarum imaginum a... 1655-1660

Portrait of the Poet Pietro Aretino, from Cabinet Reynst; Variarum imaginum a... 1655-1660
Portrait of the Poet Pietro Aretino, from Cabinet Reynst; Variarum imaginum a celeberrimis artificibus pictarum Caelaturae (Cabinet Reynst: Engravings of various images painted by famous artists)

Background imageSatirist Collection: R. B. Sheridan, (1751-1816), 1830. Creator: Unknown

R. B. Sheridan, (1751-1816), 1830. Creator: Unknown
R. B. Sheridan, (1751-1816), 1830. Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) Irish satirist, playwright, poet, and long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, educated at Harrow School

Background imageSatirist Collection: Ulrich Von Hutten, 1516, (1936). Creator: Unknown

Ulrich Von Hutten, 1516, (1936). Creator: Unknown
Ulrich Von Hutten, 1516, (1936). Ulrich von Hutten at Viterbo in the battle with five Frenchmen, who mocked Maximilian. German scholar, poet and satirist Ulrich von Hutten (1488-1523)

Background imageSatirist Collection: Portrait Painting A Woman

Portrait Painting A Woman
This illustration is probably a self portrait of of Caran d'Ache, pseudonym of the French satirist and political cartoonist, Emmanuel Poire, 1858-1909

Background imageSatirist Collection: Caran d'Ache

Caran d'Ache
A self portrait poster style illustration of Caran d'Ache, pseudonym of the French satirist and political cartoonist, Emmanuel Poire, 1858-1909

Background imageSatirist Collection: Malcolm Muggeridge, English journalist and broadcaster

Malcolm Muggeridge, English journalist and broadcaster
(Thomas) Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990), English journalist, author, media personality and satirist. From agnosticism he became a Christian, and converted to Roman Catholicism in his later years

Background imageSatirist Collection: LUCIAN Greek writer and satirist Date: 120 - 180

LUCIAN Greek writer and satirist Date: 120 - 180

Background imageSatirist Collection: The unfortunate Knight of the Rock meeting Don Quixote 1756. by William Hogarth

The unfortunate Knight of the Rock meeting Don Quixote 1756. by William Hogarth
3521507 The unfortunate Knight of the Rock meeting Don Quixote 1756. by William Hogarth by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info.: The unfortunate Knight of the Rock meeting Don Quixote 1756)

Background imageSatirist Collection: Characters and Caricaturas by William Hogarth

Characters and Caricaturas by William Hogarth
3521495 Characters and Caricaturas by William Hogarth by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info.: Characters and Caricaturas by William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

Background imageSatirist Collection: The Five Orders of Periwigs by William Hogarth

The Five Orders of Periwigs by William Hogarth
3521485 The Five Orders of Periwigs by William Hogarth by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info.: The Five Orders of Periwigs)

Background imageSatirist Collection: Self portrait by William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

Self portrait by William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)
3521467 Self portrait by William Hogarth (1697 - 1764). by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info.: Self portrait by William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

Background imageSatirist Collection: The Innkeeper's Wife and Daughter. 1764 by William Hogarth

The Innkeeper's Wife and Daughter. 1764 by William Hogarth
3521505 The Innkeeper's Wife and Daughter. 1764 by William Hogarth by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info.: The Innkeeper's Wife and Daughter Taking Care of ye Don after Being Beaten)

Background imageSatirist Collection: An Occult scene

An Occult scene
3740653 An Occult scene by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info.: Illustration depicting an Occult scene by William Hogarth (1697-1964) an English printmaker, painter, pictorial satirist

Background imageSatirist Collection: Thomas Morell (1703 - 1784) English librettist, classical scholar by William Hogarth

Thomas Morell (1703 - 1784) English librettist, classical scholar by William Hogarth
3521497 Thomas Morell (1703 - 1784) English librettist, classical scholar by William Hogarth by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info.: Thomas Morell (1703 - 1784) English librettist

Background imageSatirist Collection: The Curate and the Barber Disguising Themselves to convey Don Quixote Home. by William Hogarth

The Curate and the Barber Disguising Themselves to convey Don Quixote Home. by William Hogarth
3521509 The Curate and the Barber Disguising Themselves to convey Don Quixote Home. by William Hogarth by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info)

Background imageSatirist Collection: The Politician. by William Hogarth (1697-1764)

The Politician. by William Hogarth (1697-1764)
3521508 The Politician. by William Hogarth (1697-1764), by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info.: The Politician. by William Hogarth (1697-1764), English painter, printmaker

Background imageSatirist Collection: Don Quixote Seizes the Barber's Bason for Mambrino's Helmet, 1756. by William Hogarth

Don Quixote Seizes the Barber's Bason for Mambrino's Helmet, 1756. by William Hogarth
3521506 Don Quixote Seizes the Barber's Bason for Mambrino's Helmet, 1756. by William Hogarth by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info)

Background imageSatirist Collection: Sancho at the Feast, Starved by his Physician by William Hogarth

Sancho at the Feast, Starved by his Physician by William Hogarth
3521496 Sancho at the Feast, Starved by his Physician by William Hogarth by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info.: Sancho at the Feast, Starved by his Physician by William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

Background imageSatirist Collection: The Times. Plate II 1762, by William Hogarth

The Times. Plate II 1762, by William Hogarth
3521493 The Times. Plate II 1762, by William Hogarth by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info.: The Times. Plate II 1762, by William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

Background imageSatirist Collection: The Weighing House. (absolute gravity) by William Hogarth

The Weighing House. (absolute gravity) by William Hogarth
3521479 The Weighing House. (absolute gravity) by William Hogarth by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info.: The Weighing House. (absolute gravity) by William Hogarth (1697 - 1764)

Background imageSatirist Collection: John Tenniel - portrait standing, 1878 (print)

John Tenniel - portrait standing, 1878 (print)
3919282 John Tenniel - portrait standing, 1878 (print) by Ward, Leslie Matthew (Spy) (1851-1922); (add.info.: John Tenniel - portrait standing)

Background imageSatirist Collection: Royalty, Episcopacy and Law by William Hogarth, 1724 (engraving)

Royalty, Episcopacy and Law by William Hogarth, 1724 (engraving)
3521501 Royalty, Episcopacy and Law by William Hogarth, 1724 (engraving) by Hogarth, William (1697-1764); (add.info.: Royalty, Episcopacy and Law by William Hogarth. Dated 1724)

Background imageSatirist Collection: Fitz-Greene Halleck, between 1855 and 1865. Creator: Unknown

Fitz-Greene Halleck, between 1855 and 1865. Creator: Unknown
Fitz-Greene Halleck, between 1855 and 1865. [Poet and satirist. Since the late twentieth century his poetry has been studied for its homosexual themes and insights into nineteenth-century society]

Background imageSatirist Collection: Petroleum Nasby, between 1860 and 1875. Creator: Unknown

Petroleum Nasby, between 1860 and 1875. Creator: Unknown
Petroleum Nasby, between 1860 and 1875. [Journalist and early political commentator David Ross Locke: author of the " Nasby Letters", written in the character of " Rev

Background imageSatirist Collection: The Westminster Pitt, 1798 (pen and ink and watercolour)

The Westminster Pitt, 1798 (pen and ink and watercolour)
651804 The Westminster Pitt, 1798 (pen and ink and watercolour) by Rowlandson, Thomas (1756-1827); 22x32 cm; Private Collection; (add.info.: The Westminster Pitt. Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827)



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Satirists have long been the masters of wit and irony, using their sharp tongues to expose society's follies. From Nasreddin, the Seljuq satirist who cunningly mocked authority with his clever anecdotes, to Dorothy Parker, the American writer known for her biting humor and sardonic observations. Even in ancient times, satirists like Horace found solace in archways as they crafted their witty verses that ridiculed societal norms. Fanny Burney, a lesser-known but equally talented satirist from the 18th century, used her pen to challenge social conventions and highlight women's struggles during her time. The Library of the Royal Institution became a sanctuary for many satirists throughout history. Here they would immerse themselves in knowledge and inspiration before unleashing their sharp critiques on society. James Gillray was one such artist who captured political figures with his pencil strokes, exposing their flaws through caricature. Caran d'Ache carried on this tradition into modern times with his illustrations that playfully poked fun at contemporary issues. Malcolm Muggeridge followed suit as an English journalist and broadcaster whose scathing commentary left no stone unturned. But let us not forget Lucian, the Greek writer from centuries ago whose satire still resonates today. His timeless tales continue to remind us of our own absurdities and invite introspection. And finally, we cannot ignore William Hogarth's iconic depiction of Don Quixote releasing galley-slaves; a powerful image that symbolizes how satire can be a force for liberation against oppression. Through artistry or prose, these satirists have held up mirrors to society's face while simultaneously entertaining us with their wit. Their legacy reminds us that laughter is indeed a potent weapon against ignorance and injustice - one that continues to shape our world today.