- Museum number
- Object: Presages of the Millenium;
Pitt as Death on the pale Horse rides naked on the White Horse of Hanover, galloping over the prostrate bodies of pigs; other pigs, a multitude extending to the horizon, flee before him. On the horse's fringed saddle-cloth is a crown. Pitt is very emaciated, his flaming hair streams behind him encircled by a fillet inscribed 'Destruction'. In his right hand is a large flaming sword; in his left he holds the thread-like body of a scaly monster with gaping jaws, webbed wings, and serpent's tail. Behind him on the horse's hind quarters sits a naked imp wearing the feathered coronet of the Prince of Wales, with the motto 'Ich di[en]'. He grasps Pitt, and kisses his posterior; in his left hand he holds out a paper: 'Provision for the Millenium £125,000 pr An'. The horse's tail streams out, expanding into clouds, and merging with the flames of Hell which rise from the extreme right. In the tail and flames imps are flying, headed by Dundas holding a pitchfork; he wears a wig and plaid with horns and webbed wings. Behind are three imps: Loughborough, indicated as usual by an elongated judge's wig in back view (cf. BMSat 6796); Burke with webbed wings and serpent's tail; Pepper Arden [Identified by Wright and Evans as Lord Kenyon. The identification in the text is confirmed by Lord Holland.] wearing a large wig.
In the foreground (right) Pitt's opponents are being kicked towards Hell by the horse's hind legs. Fox has just been violently struck in the face, and staggers backwards, clutching a paper inscribed 'Peace'. Sheridan lies prone, face downwards, hands raised, as if for mercy. Wilberforce sits on the ground clasping his 'Motion for a Peace' (see BMSat 8637). Behind Fox Lansdowne looks up from the ground, clenching his fists. On the extreme right the Duke of Norfolk, Lord Stanhope, and the Duke of Grafton are about to plunge into the flames: Fox in falling is pushing them over.
The title continues: '- with The Destruction of the Faithful, as Revealed to R: Brothers, the Prophet, & attested by M. B. Hallhead Esq \ "And e'er the Last Days began, I looked, & behold, a White Horse, & his Name who sat upon it was Death: & Hell followed after him; & Power was given unto him to kill with the \ " Sword, & with Famine, & with Death; And I saw under him the Souls of the Multitude, those who were destroy'd for maintaing [sic] the word of Truth, & for the Testimony -' 4 June 1795
Hand-coloured etching and aquatint
- Production date
Height: 325 millimetres
Width: 374 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
For the prophecies of Brothers see BMSat 8627, &c. Halhed, M.P. for Lymington, spoke in behalf of the prophet and his prophecies in Parliament on 31 Mar. and 21 Apr. 'Parl. Hist.' xxxi. 1413-28. Stanhope, 'Life of Pitt', 1879, ii. 103. Pitt tramples on the 'swinish multitude', see BMSat 8500, &c. For the provision for the Prince of Wales on his marriage see BMSat 8673, &c.; actually he thought that Pitt had tricked him over the amount. Wilberforce is included on account of his motion for peace on 27 May 1795 ('Parl. Hist.' xxxii. 1 ff.); cf. BMSat 8637. 'Death on the pale Horse' was a favourite subject, engravings after paintings by Mortimer and West were popular. For the White Horse of Hanover cf. BMSat 8691. The contrast with BMSat 8644 is noteworthy.
A copy, c. 10 X 11 in., 'Js. Gy des', was issued without imprint (A. de R. xv. 126).
Grego, 'Gillray', pp. 189-90 (small copy). Wright and Evans, No. 127. Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', No. 127.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1999/2000 Dec-Apr, London, BM, 'The Apocalypse', no.19
2001 Jun-Sep, London, Tate Britain, 'Gillray and the Art of Caricature'
2006 Feb-May, London, Tate Britain, 'Gothic Nightmares:...'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number