Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art
Wright, Thomas Fairholt, Frederick William
Persistente ID:
and Art. 
was in alliance with the French againft Milan. At_the moment repre- 
tented, the king of France is announcing that he has a fluih of cards, the 
Swifs acknowledges the weaknefs of his hand, and the doge lays down 
his cards-in fact, Louis XII. has won the game. But the point of the 
caricature lies principally in the group around. To the extreme right the 
king of England, Henry VII., diftinguifhed by his three armorial lions, 
and the king of Spain, are engaged in iearnelt converfation. Behind the 
former Hands the infanta Margarita, who is evidently winking at the 
Swifs to give him information of the itate of the cards of his opponents. 
At her tide Hands the duke of Wirtemberg, and juft before him the 
pope, the infamous Alexander VI. (Borgia), who, though in alliance with 
Louis, is not able, with all his efforts, to read the king's game, and looks 
on with evident anxiety. Behind the doge of Venice {lands the Italian 
refugee, Trivulci, an able warrior, devoted to the interefts of France ; 
and at the doge's right hand, the emperor, holding in his hands another 
pack of cards, and apparently exulting in the belief that he has thrown 
confufion into the king of France's game. In the background to the 
left are feen the count Palatine and the marquis of Montferrat, who alfo 
look uncertain about the refult; and below the former appears the duke 
of Savoy, who was giving afiitlance to the French defigns. The duke of 
Lorraine is ferving drink to the gamblers, while the duke of Milan, who 
was at this time playing rather a double part, is gathering up the cards 
which have fallen to the ground, in order to make a game for himfelf. 
Louis XII. carried his detigns into execution; the duke of Milan, 
Ludovico Sforza, nick-named the Moor, played his cards badly, loft his 
duchy, and died in prifon. 
Such is this carlieft of political caricatures-and in this cafe it was 
purely political-but the queition of religion foon began not only to mix 
itfelf up with the political queftion, but almoit to abforb it, as we have 
feen in the review of the hiftory of caricature under the Reformation. 
Before this period, indeed, political caricature was only an affair between 
crowned heads, or between kings and their nobles, but the religious agita- 
tion had originated a vatt focial movement, which brought into play 
popular feelings and patiionsz thefe gave caricature a totally new value. 


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