Navigation 2017 with view cart

"The Works of James Gillray from the Original Plates with the Addition of Many Subjects Not Before Collected"

(1847-1851)
published by Henry G. Bohn, London written by Charles Whiting

Original Copperplate Etchings/Engravings over 170 years old

Full Sheet Size: approx. 19 x 24¾ inches
Half Sheet Size: approx. 9½ x 12¼ inches
(trimmed from full sheet)

Image Size: varies from engraving to engraving (note: most, but not all, plates have engravings on both sides of the sheet, as published by Bohn.)

 

John Bull taking a Luncheon
(click image for view of entire plate)

John Bull taking a Luncheon:
or, British Cooks, cramming Old Grumble-Gizzard,
with Bonne-Chére


(Side 1)

Sheet size: 16 3/8 x 12 1/4 inches
(trimmed from full sheet)

Condition
Good/Very Good: typical browning of extreme edges of paper; scattered light foxing;
top margin as published, with part of text from the print originally printed above it;
the print was trimmed down from a full sheet.

NOTE: This print is not from the 1847-1851 Bohn edition (it has no plate number) but IS printed on both sides, so is not an earlier lifetime print. Some sources would put this at around 1830 from the McLean edition of Gillray prints. Another possibility is that Bohn printed this without numbering to have hand-coloured and sold individually. Regardless, it is one of Gillray's most famous images and highly collectable.

This print was published just after Nelson's victory at the Battle of the Nile. He is shown in the forefront of British admirals and naval heroes, serving up victories for ‘Old Grumble-Gizzard’, the British public, to satisfy its appetite for ‘frigasees’ of enemy ships, washed down with 'True British Stout'. On the splendid victories which crowned the British navy at this period. Fox, Sheridan, and the Whigs, who, it was pretended, sympathized with the republican French, are alarmed in the utmost degree, at the destruction which is going on.

[Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London; gillrayprints.com]


Buonaparte, hearing of Nelson's Victory, swears by his Sword, to Extirpate the English from off the Earth.
(click image for view of entire plate)

Buonaparte, hearing of Nelson's Victory, swears by his Sword,
to Extirpate the English from off the Earth.


(Side 2)

Sheet size: 16 5/8 x 11 1/2 inches
(trimmed from full sheet)

Condition
Good/Very Good: typical browning of extreme edges of paper; scattered light foxing; somewhat narrow right margin as a result of trimming down from full sheet.

NOTE: This print is not from the 1847-1851 Bohn edition (it has no plate number) but IS printed on both sides, so is not an earlier lifetime print. Some sources would put this at around 1830 from the McLean edition of Gillray prints. Another possibility is that Bohn printed this without numbering to have hand-coloured and sold individually.

This is effectively a triumphalist mocking satire of Napoleon in Egypt, through celebratory reference to the resounding victory over the French fleet at the Battle of the Nile some four months earlier. The French leader is ridiculed as a set of contradictions. Gillray plays principally upon Napoleon’s stature, for which he is shown attempting to compensate by the extraordinary and extravagant uniform he wears, which is in marked contrast to that of the dispatch rider beyond. The latter (whose mount in the Egyptian context is transformed from a horse to a camel) looks on frozen in astonishment and fear at the uncontrolled outpouring his message has provoked in his leader, his leaden pose pointing up the overblown theatricality of Napoleon’s. The latter unleashes his sabre marked ‘Egalité’, but it is dripping with blood, like the dagger tucked into the fulsome tricolour sash around his waist. His ‘Muslim pose’, by which he tramples the report of Nelson’s victory, at the same time recalls David’s celebrated painting ‘The Oath of the Horatii’. In short, Napoleon is burlesqued as a contradictory combination of the personification of French Revolutionary principles and an orientalized despot, marked most clearly by the crescent moon on his enormous hat, the camel and the oriental tent in the background.

The satire’s ridicule resides finally in the play of word and image that is typical of Gillray. Matching the swaggering pose and excessive costume of Napoleon is the unchecked stream of words he utters. The English viewer is invited to regard both his gestures and words as hollow and empty in the face of the victory at the Nile.

[Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London]


"John Bull taking a Luncheon:
or, British Cooks, cramming Old Grumble-Gizzard,
with Bonne-Chére
"
and
"Buonaparte, hearing of Nelson's Victory, swears by his Sword,
to Extirpate the English from off the Earth."


(two-sided plate)


$700


Gillray's "Political Series" Plates 1-366
Gillray's "Miscellaneous Series" Plates 367-582
Gillray's "Suppressed Series"

Return to Humor and Satire page