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Darwin Correspondence Project

4.37 'Mosquito' satire

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The Buenos Aires satirical journal Mosquito published this cartoon in May 1882, shortly after Darwin’s death, with the title ‘El Homenage a Darwin en el Teatro Nacional’ (The tribute to Darwin in the National Theatre). A politician, perhaps identifiable as Torcuato de Alvear, the newly appointed first mayor of Buenos Aires, is delivering a speech and he gestures admiringly towards a bust of Darwin. Below we read, ‘A quien se podia haber elejido mejor para demonstrar con que razon ha dicho el ilustre naturalista que el hombre desciende del mono?’ – no one could have been elected mayor who demonstrated more clearly the truth of the famous naturalist’s claim, that man descended from the monkey. The figure’s unnaturally long arms and bent legs are supposedly simian traits. However, the full meaning of the satire in the context of Argentinian politics has still to be explained. 

  • physical location no copy located;accession or collection number unknown 

  • copyright holder unknown  

  • originator of image unsigned; possibly by Henri Stein, owner and editor of Mosquito 

  • date of creation May 1882 

  • computer-readable date 1882-05-01 to 1882-05-20 

  • medium and material lithograph 

  • references and bibliography Mosquito, year XIX, no. 1011 (21 May 1882) front page. J van Wyhe, ‘Iconography’, p. 188. 


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