Thursday 3 December 2015

Wicked Wit: Darley's Comic Prints

Wicked Wit: Darley's Comic Prints is a wonderful new exhibition currently at Chester Beatty Library in Dublin; it's my pleasure to share news of it with you! I can personally recommend the beautifully illustrated exhibition catalogue, a must for anyone with a passion for the glorious Georgians!


The Siege of Cork
Drawing on the Library’s own collections, this exhibition features over 100 hand-coloured, eighteenth-century etchings by the husband and wife team, Mary and Matthew Darly. From the time of their marriage, they worked in tandem designing, engraving and publishing prints using the signature, MD or MDarly. 

This printer-publisher team produced well over 500 comic images of Caricatures, Macaronies, and Characters from no. 39 Strand (London) between 1770 and 1780. At the height of their fame, carriages lined the streets so their occupants could titter at the images on display in Darly’s Comic Exhibitions, held every spring from 1773 to 1778.

By the end of the decade, they had become so popular that their publications were available throughout Great Britain and Ireland, Europe and even America. The name Darly became synonymous with the humorous images they produced. 

A richly illustrated catalogue to accompany the exhibition is availlable to purchase in the Library shop.

Wicked Wit: Darley's Comic Prints is open until 14th February 2016.


Anne said...

I never heard of the Darleys. Fascinating how the wife was allowed to share in the fame.
Thank you for your post!

Catherine Curzon said...

A pleasure; although I can't make it to Dublin, I can at least admire the gorgeous catalogue!

Jenny Woolf said...

I wish I had seen people wearing those wigs everyday. I can't make it to Dublin or else I would certainly attend. Perhaps you'll let us know if it ever comes to London.

Catherine Curzon said...

Of course; I can't get to Dublin either!