Thomas Nast

Artist's Biography

Apollo Amusing the Gods.

Wood engraving, 1872.
Image size 13 1/2 x 20 1/4" (33.1 x 51.5 cm).
Good condition.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 92283
Price: $150.00
Publisher : Published by Harper's Weekly. November 16, 1872.
A playful post-election cartoon poking fun at the Democratic party, which had lost to the Republican incumbent Ulysses S. Grant. Whitelaw Reid, a newspaper editor, is depicted as Apollo, the god of music, prophecy (and many other things). His "N.Y. Tribune" lyre sits upon a pedestal with a paper reading "Notice. This is not an organ" making fun of him and his paper. Carl Schurz is Mars, god of war. He was the founder of the Liberal Republican party, which had formed an alliance with the Democrats during the election in hopes of defeating Grant. Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner is shown as Jupiter, king of gods and god of thunder. He is remembered for his radicalized views and outspoken hatred of President Grant.

Boss Tweed is depicted as Pluto, god of the Underworld. Tweed had served as the head of the Democratic Political Machine known as Tammany Hall until 1871, when he was removed for corruption and extensive embezzlement. Horace Greeley, the Democratic presidential nominee, is shown as Minerva, goddess of wisdom and education. It is a fit of irony further portrayed by the "What I know" banner in his hand. It plays on a book Greeley wrote in 1871 entitled "What I know about Farming." Unfortunately the book was based on childhood memories rather than actual practice, giving Nast the perfect piece of fodder to continually attack the nominee and remind the public of his ignorance. Greeley was a newspaper editor, after all, and had no history in politics.
18th-19th Century Subjects , Caricatures and Satirical , Political