Wicked Wit: Darly’s Comic Prints

Ulster Museum

30 March – 23 September 2018

Revel in the satirical wit of printmakers and artists, Mary and Matthew Darly, whose comic prints poked fun at the excesses of 18th-century society.

Mary & Matthew Darly, The Macaroni Print Shop, 1772

From the beginning of their marriage, Mary and Matthew Darly worked together as equal partners, designing, engraving, publishing and marketing a variety of artwork. They became famous in their own time for comic prints ridiculing the aristocracy’s pompous attitudes and ludicrous fashions.

This exhibition showcases over 100 of the hand-painted prints, including The Ridiculous Taste, or the Ladies Absurdity, which laughs at the ever-increasing height of women’s hairstyles, and The Macaroni Print Shop, which depicts foppish young men (known as macaronies) looking at the charicatures in the Darlys’ own shop front.

Unusually for a woman in the 18th century, Mary Darly was credited as an artist and advertiser in her own right. This exhibition is part of Hear Her Voice, a year-long programme of events across Northern Ireland, championing the creative achievements of women.

Venue information

Opening times

Tue – Sun, 10am – 5pm

Closed Mon (except on Northern Ireland Bank Holiday Mondays)

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