English Music by Carlo Pellegrini


English Music


Carlo Pellegrini

Ref GM385
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 12" x 16" (30 x 40 cm)
Price Add to basket
This is a fine example of the famous caricatures of Vanity Fair, one of the most celebrated satirical periodicals ever to be published. The first issue appeared on November 7, 1868, with a statement of purpose by its editor, Thomas Gibson Bowles, declaring that the magazine would “display the vanities of the week, without ignoring or disguising the fact that they are vanities, but keeping always in mind that in the buying and selling of them there is to be made a profit of Truth.” The artist responsible for this caricature, Carlo Pellegrini, played a large part in the success that Vanity Fair was to enjoy in the subsequent years. He had come to London in 1864, aged 25, and this eccentric, diminutive Italian, with his large head and long fingernails, soon became the “pet” of English society. Pellegrini has been referred to as “the presiding artistic genius of Vanity Fair’s early years”, his “Ape” pseudonym a reference to the simian characteristics he often bestowed on his unfortunate subjects. The composer Sir Arthur Sullivan here avoided such a conspicuously apelike portrayal, although Pellegrini’s eye for irreverent caricature seems as sharp as ever. Sullivan was one of the best-known English musicians of his day, his output including 23 operas and 13 orchestral works, among a host of other pieces. He was, however, most celebrated for his collaborations with the librettist W. S. Gilbert; their comic operas included such works as H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado, and The Pirates of Penzance, which remain hugely popular to this day.