George Cruikshank (krŏŏk´shăngk), 1792–1878, English caricaturist, illustrator, and etcher; younger son of Isaac Cruikshank (1756–1810), caricaturist. Self-taught, George early gained a reputation for his humorous drawings and political and social satires. He succeeded James Gillray as the most popular caricaturist of his day. Cruikshank illustrated more than 850 books and contributed to such publications as the Meteor, the Scourge, and the Satirist. Among the best of his many illustrations are the famous Life in London (in collaboration with his brother); his masterly etchings for Grimm's German Popular Stories; and the 12 etchings in Richard Bentley's miscellany, which include the notable illustrations of Oliver Twist. In his later years Cruikshank made many drawings depicting the evils of intemperance, such as The Drunkard's Children, The Bottle, and The Gin Trap. Collections of his works are in the British and the Victoria and Albert museums.
See biographies by B. Jerrold (1882) and W. Bates (2d. ed. 1972); catalogs by A. M. Cohn (1924) and M. D. George (1949); study, ed. by R. L. Patten (1973).