- Museum number
- Object: A True Picture of the Famous Skreen describ'd in the Lond.n Journ.l No. 85
Satire on the cover-up of those in power who were implicated in the South Sea Bubble and other financial scandals. A grand room with two long windows and a pier glass between. Much of the room is obscured by a large screen, but figures can be discerned behind it: on the left three men, one holding a staff of office, is reflected in the glass, one of them is also partly visible to the left of the screen; on the right, a woman is partly seen clenching her fist; shadows of other women fall on the wall to right, below a map of Antwerp. The screen itself is ornamented with eight relevant scenes: the Moenian column against which a criminal is being flogged; the brazen head supposedly made by Roger Bacon; a Roman taking a bribe; Britannia expiring; a criminal being pushed off the Tarpeian rock; the killing of Jan and Cornelis de Wit; a gallows on Tower Hill; the personification of London collapsed with a dagger in her breast.Two columns of verse and a description below taken from the London Journal, No.89 (85 in the title).
- Production date
Height: 164 millimetres
Width: 174 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Stephen's suggests that the figures behind the screen are intended for James Craggs, secretary of state, who managed of the legislation which converted the national debt into South Sea stock and arranged for royal friends and mistresses to benefit; John Aislabie, chancellor of the exchequer, who was involved in operating subscription lists and profited by the rise in the stock price; the Duchess of Kendal, the king's mistress, and his half-sister (assumed by many also to be his mistress) Sophia von Kielmansegg, both of whom had been given £15,000 worth of South Sea stock; and Henrietta Howard, mistress of the Prince of Wales, who had settled £11,500 worth of South Sea stock on her. The third man is Robert Knight, cashier of the South Sea Company, who had fled to Brabant after appearing before the House of Commons committee of inquiry on 21 January.
Picart's name may have been added intentionally to mislead because of the contentious political subject matter.
- Not on display
- Associated events
- Associated Event: South Sea Bubble 1720
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number