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satirical print / print

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Mary of Modena sits at left and rocks an elaborate cradle containing the Prince of Wales (James Edward Stuart, the future Old Pretender); Father Petre puts his arm round Mary's neck in an intimate gesture. An orange lies on the table at the foot of the cradle. 1688 Mezzotint

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1688
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 250 millimetres
    • Width: 183 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered in two columns of three lines "Biegtvader peters ... uit engelant."
  • Curator's comments

    (Text from Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Stuart Britain', BM 1998, cat. 209)
    The unexpected birth of a son to Queen Mary of Modena in 1688, after numerous miscarriages and deaths of her previous babies, presented a severe challenge to William's Protestant propagandists. The obvious tactic was to cast doubt on the child's legitimacy, and two lines were peddled. The first was to accuse Father Edward Petre, her confessor, and a member of the Privy Council, of excessive intimacy with her. The other was to claim that the baby was not hers, but was the son of a miller's wife and had been substituted. This print alludes to both stories, hence the windmill in the cradle. Prints such as these would have counted as high treason in England, and before the Revolution could only be produced in the Netherlands. They retained their purpose after 1689, as part of William's campaign to justify the invasion and seizure of the throne.
    Craig Hartley and Catharine MacLeod have pointed out ('Supposititious Prints', Print Quarterly, VI, 1989, pp. 49-54) that the composition of this print is copied from an 'official' view of the Queen with her child by Bernard Lens, published by Edward Cooper. By adding Petre, the windmill and the Dutch verses the meaning is completely altered. The group of Queen and cradle was also adapted by Romeyn de Hooghe for a large satire, L'Europe allarmé pour le fils d'un meunier (BMSat 1158).
    The print is anonymous. Hollstein attributes it in vol.VII to Jacob Gole (no.235), while in vol.XXV it is listed as one of the publications of Pieter Schenck (no.2068). They were the leading Dutch mezzotinters of the period. Gole (c.1660-1724) was of French origin, his father being the famous cabinet-maker Pierre Gole. He seems to have emigrated to the Netherlands c.1684, and established a connection with Cornelis Dusart. Gole's work is usually signed and of high quality, which suggests that this print is in fact by Schenck, whose huge output covered work of the most varied kinds. Schenck was brother-in-law to Gerard Valck. Neither Gole nor Schenck seems ever to have visited London.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 1166 bibliographic details
    • Hollstein 2068 (XXV (Schenck)) bibliographic details
    • Hollstein 235 (VII (Gole)) bibliographic details
  • Location

    D+F XVIIc Mounted Roy

  • Exhibition history

    2000 Jan-Mar, Ipswich, Christchurch Mansion, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
    2000 May-Jul, Bristol, City Mus and AG, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
    2000 Oct-Dec, Lancaster, Peter Scott Gallery, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
    2000/1 Dec-Feb, Banff, Duff House, Printmaking in Stuart Britain
    2001 Feb-May, Cardiff, National Mus, Printmaking in Stuart Britain

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated events

    • Associated Event: Birth of the Old Pretender
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


Mary of Modena sits at l and rocks a child's cradle containing 'The Old Pretender' at r; Father Petre puts his arm round Mary's neck in an intimate gesture.  1688


Mary of Modena sits at l and rocks a child's cradle containing 'The Old Pretender' at r; Father Petre puts his arm round Mary's neck in an intimate gesture. 1688 Mezzotint

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA67952

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