- Museum number
- Object: HET COMMITTE' VAN ALGEMEEN WELZYN. (The Committee of General Welfare)
Four grotesque men, all crippled or deformed, are in a row before a set of druggist's shelves headed 'Staats Apotheek'. Those on the extreme left and right stand, the others sit. A knock-kneed hunchback (left), smoking a long pipe, the smoke inscribed 'Hellebr . . .', holds a paper: 'Recipe'. A ragged and lame National Guard picks the pocket of his neighbour.
Above the shelves, and forming the apex of the design, a fury, Discord, with snaky locks, leans from clouds, holding a flaming sword and looking down threateningly at the conference. On the top shelf are a 'Guillotine' and a bull, 'Phalaris', a block inscribed 'Menschen lief de' next a gallows, a demon. Below are bottles: 'Quint Ess: de Robespierr, Sel de Marat, Recipes en Assignaten [see BMSat 8849], Rotten gift [poison for mice], Alb: Graec:' On the wall hang a sword and shackles. Text, 'Luke', xii. 26. 1796
Etching printed in red
- Production date
Height: 261 millimetres
Width: 214 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
They are 'un grouppe de personnages dont l'exterieur, le contenence, les instruments, et remédes efficaces, qu'ils employent pour guérir les playes de l'etat, prouvent asséz combien ils sont fait pour travailler au salut publique'.
It was reported from Holland (by both parties) that only the French occupation prevented civil war. [Legrand], 'La Rév.fr. en Hollande', 1894, pp. 117 ff.; 'Hist. MSS. Comm., Dropmore Papers', iii. 55.
For comment on "Hollandia Regenerata", the series to which this print belongs, see BM Satires 8846 (1851,0901.1311).
Joost Rosendaal in his essential "Nawoord" to the facsimile edition of Hollandia Regenerata has tentatively identified the pickpocketing man on the right as Bernardus Blok, a refugee Batavian who was suspected of having stolen the greenhouse of the Committed Councils of the Northern Quarter in 1787. The fat man, he believes, was probably inspired by Cornelis van der Hoop Gz, an Amsterdam regent with Patriot leanings (via Jim Sherry, email, October 2019).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number