Basil Smith: 1900s Circus Wagon - Lion Being Pulled
Artist: Basil Smith
Children gaze in wonderment, their cotton candy forgotten, as a human cannonball is hurtled through the air. A collective gasp from the crowd reverberates through the tent as a trapeze artist slips, regaining her grip at the last second. Clowns scurry about, performing absurdities to the delight of young and old alike. It's Saturday night and the circus is in town. In days gone by, the circus traveled from one town to another aboard ornate wagons pulled by horses and camels or sometimes elephants. Posters preceded them, depicting bearded ladies, tuba-playing pachyderms, death-defying feats and promising "never before seen" wonders from every land. Upon arrival, the circus entourage paraded down Main Street. Townspeople marveled as the gilded, carved wagons rolled by. Bands filled the street with music. A single line of elephants, connected trunk to tail, lumbered past, followed by roaring lions and tigers pacing menacingly in their cages. Brightly-garbed clowns mingled with the crowd. By afternoon, the "Big Top" was up and filled to capacity. The ringmaster, dressed in red coat, top hat and polished black boots, walked to the center of the ring and with a booming voice announced, "La-adies and Gentlemen ... !" The circus was underway. Today the circus comes to town aboard 18-wheeled "wagons" powered by diesel engines. The big tents are gone, replaced by special-event centers.
This painting was origianlly published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover of the U.S. 5¢ Circus Wagon stamp issued December 8, 1992.
Artwork Copyright © 1992 Unicover Corporation. All Rights Reserved under United States and international copyright laws. You may not reproduce, distribute, transmit, or otherwise exploit the Artwork in any way. Images of the Artwork may be watermarked and/or digitally watermarked. Any sale of the physical original does not include or convey the Copyright or any right comprised in the copyright.
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