Frederick William Rose

Frederick William Rose (1849-1915) was a conservative British satirist and caricature artist active in the late 19th century. Despite the popularity of his posters and a considerable output, there has been some controversy regarding his exact identity, in part due to the commonplaceness of his name.

More recent research (Barron 2008; 2016) has brought to light that Rose was of honorable Scottish descent and spent most of his professional life working as a civil-servant at Somerset House in London (Inland Revenue at the time). Having both married and divorced, Rose lost two sons in the early months of World War I and died shortly after, in 1915.

During his lifetime, Rose travelled extensively throughout Europe and wrote numerous articles, reviews, and commentaries for the printed press. His first published book came in 1885 and was entitled Notes on a Tour in Spain. He later authored a number of other books. Today he is best known for his satirical output, in particular his caricature or ‘Serio-Comic‘ maps, as he called them. His most famous map was the Octopus Map of Europe (1877), in which Russia is represented as an octopus grasping the rest of Europe. Even though this idea was copied from a Dutch caricaturist, J.J. van Brederode, it started a broader production of cartoon maps that served as ironic commentaries on current affairs across the continent.

Showing the single result