Plzeňské sympozia

Roman Prahl

The Motif of the “Unequal Couple” and Its Use in 19th-Century Czech Cartoon Productiond

pp. 302–315 (Czech), Summary p. 316 (English)

The author concentrates on the presence of this motif in the visual art tradition, pointing to both humouristic and satirical aspects of its use. He deals with various channels of its semantization, ranging from visualization of miscellaneous social issues and moralities, to treatment of political developments of the day and of the issue of women’s emancipation. The sheer breadth of the spectrum encompassed by this particular motif was due to its principal visual characteristic, namely, the mutual incompatibility of the two figures, along with ambiguity of interpretation, a standard feature of cartoons accompanied by text. In certain specific cases, the main attribute of the “unequal couple” is transposed beyond the borders of gender, to the standard depiction pattern of two male figures at conversation.

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