Ilustrated collection of French drawings, £15.00
Height: 216.000 mm
Width: 275.000 mm
Department of Prints and Drawings
Prints and Drawings
Trait de Sensibilité ('Act of Sensibility'), an etching with hand-colouring
France, AD 1814-15
A caricature of the English said to be drawn in London by a French prisoner of war
The late eighteenth to early nineteenth century was the heyday of caricature prints. They enjoyed widespread popularity and flourished in Europe whenever political censorship allowed.
Following the exile of Napoleon in 1814, the censorship laws in France were temporarily relaxed. This coincided with a massive influx of British tourists to Paris. In 1815 a writer estimated that over 30,000 British people had visited the city.
were a common target of caricature at this time, identified through
symbols and human stereotypes. This
In Britain the public was used to the social and political caricature of artists such as Gillray, Hogarth and Rowlandson. Hence they provided French caricaturists with a ready-made market among the English visitors to Paris, despite the unflattering portraits of the English in them.
A. Griffiths, Europeans in caricature 1770-1, (pamphlet) (London, The British Museum Press, 1992/3)