The British Museum's collections, £16.99
Height: 249.000 mm
Width: 346.000 mm
Prints and Drawings
George Cruikshank, Inconveniences of a Crowded Room, an etching
England, AD 1818
A scene which satirizes English royal society
In this coloured
A contemporary described the scene: There was 'an immense crowd … much confusion. Everyone wished to get first into the presence of royalty, much rushing and squeezing took place, loud shrieks were heard and several ladies fainted'. The men are shown in gold-laced court dress or dress uniforms. When they meet the ladies in their wide-hipped dresses delightful chaos results. The climax is in the centre of the doorway. The entire mass of the bulky woman is focused on the point of her left foot. She lands forcibly on the foot of the gouty and equally large man. A crowd around them enjoys their painful discomfort. The cream of fashionable Society has become a scrum of bitching grotesques.
Cruikshank succeeded Gillray as Britain's most important satirist and caricaturist. The morals of Society, the private life of the notorious Prince Regent (son of George III and Queen Charlotte) and many other aspects of contemporary Britain were all exposed and attacked in Cruikshank's merciless scenes.
R.L. Patten, George Cruikshanks life, times (Cambridge, Lutterworth Press, 1992)
M. Wynn Jones, George Cruikshank: his life an (London, Macmillan, 1978)
J. Wardroper, The caricatures of George Crui (Gordon Fraser, 1977)