- Museum number
Object: New exhibition of dissolving views.
Series: Political Sketches
No. 689. At a show of optical illusions, the master, standing at left (Lord Melbourne), explaining about the views to a seated and standing audience (Prince Albert, Queen Victoria, Lord Normanby, John Bull, Daniel O'Connell, Lord Stanley, Henry Goulburn, Sir James Graham, standing Sir Robert Peel, Emerson Tennent, Horace Twist); at to right, a man seen in a box producing the effects (Lord Russell). 1 June 1841
- Production date
Height: 283 millimetres (approximately; top edge obscured by binding)
Width: 382 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from 'An Illustrative Key to the Political Sketches of H.B.', London 1844:
The optical illusions commonly known by the name of dissolving views being daily exhibited at the Royal Adelaide Gallery and the Polytechnic Institution, are familiar to every body. In this sketch, the master of the show is Lord Melbourne, and his coadjutor, whose head appears at the window of a small inclosure on the opposite side of the piece, where the machinery is employed to produce the effect, is Lord John Russell. The exhibition of the House of Commons among the dissolving views, alludes to the then intended dissolution of Parliament, and the provincial and rural scenes which are to succeed, refer to the ensuing general election; and the point of the sketch is the hope entertained by the Whigs that by a dissolution of Parliament they might cause their difficulties to vanish like the scenes in these popular exhibitions. The audience is composed of persons of various ranks and parties. Among those on the front bench are the Queen and Prince Albert, and immediately behind Her Majesty the person of Lord Normanby is discernible, in conversation with a lady in waiting. Conspicuous in the centre bench sits John Bull, in wide astonishment at the exhibition, and with no very friendly expression of countenance, although a person at his side, whose outline brings to our mind the figure of Mr. O'Connell, endeavours to engage his admiration and applause. Behind these are a group of malcontents, Lord Stanley (in the spectacles), Sir James Graham, and Mr. Goulburn. The figure of Sir Robert Peel standing with his arms folded, is too striking to be mistaken, and behind him Mr. Emmerson Tennent, M.P. for Belfast, turns towards his sympathetic friend, Mr. Horace Twiss, and expresses his vexation at the disappearance of Downing-Street and the public offices.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number