May 2, 2006 Swann Fellow to Lecture on Early Political Satires May 10

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Martha Kennedy (202) 707-9115

Swann Foundation Fellow Meredith Hale will present a lecture titled "Romeyn de Hooghe and the End of the Absolute Monarch," at noon on Wednesday, May 10, in the West Dining Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, DC.

Hale’s illustrated presentation is based on a research project, which has been supported by her fellowship from the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon. The Library administers the foundation. The lecture, sponsored by the foundation and the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division, is free and open to the public; no reservations are required.

Dutch printmaker Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708) produced some of the earliest political satires, establishing the initial parameters of a genre. He produced satires on both domestic (Dutch) and foreign (French) politics, playing both sides of the political divide. De Hooghe is well known for his caricatures of Louis XIV (1638-1715) and his political prints that supported William III (1650-1702), Stadtholder of the Netherlands, also known as William III of England. In her lecture, Hale will discuss satire as a genre and how it revolutionized printed materials with political content. She will focus on one of de Hooghe’s most interesting satires, "Pantagruel Agonisant," in which the machinery of the “Absolute Monarchy” is dismantled and Louis XIV is caught in the royal bedchamber dying, as the print’s title suggests, of embarrassment.

At a time when printmaking in Europe flourished, de Hooghe stood out among his peers as unusually gifted and prolific, producing more than 3,500 prints during his career. Highly skilled as a draftsman, etcher, painter and medalist, he also illustrated books, including some of the most important texts of his time.

Hale is a doctoral candidate in art history at Columbia University, who has published journal articles on the work of de Hooghe and other early modern printmakers of Europe. She was an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2004-2005, and a Samuel H. Kress Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington in 2002-2004. She has received fellowships from Columbia University in 2001-2002, the European University of St. Petersburg in 2000 and the American Association for Netherlandic Studies in Zeist, Netherlands, in 1999.

This presentation is part of the Swann Foundation’s continuing activities to support the study, interpretation, preservation and appreciation of original works of humorous and satiric art by graphic artists from around the world. The Swann Foundation’s advisory board is composed of scholars, collectors, cartoonists and Library of Congress staff members. The foundation awards one fellowship annually (with a stipend of $15,000) to assist scholarly research and writing projects in the field of caricature and cartoon. Applications for the academic year 2007-2008 will be due on Feb.15, 2007. More information about the fellowship is available through the Swann Foundation’s Web site: or by e-mailing [email protected]


PR 06-106
ISSN 0731-3527