- Museum number
- Object: The races of the Europeans, with their keys.
Satire on the jockeying for position of the European powers in the late 1730s, and in particular on the unwillingness of Walpole's government to go to war comprising versions of four earlier satires showing "Heats" in the "European Race" (BM Satires 2333, 2415, 2431 and 2455). The scenes dated respectively 1737, 1738, 1739 and 1740, their compositions only slightly altered, are enclosed withing four rococo frames entwined with ribbons on which are lettered the title and keys to each scene; at top is a wolf, in the centre a grotesque horned head, and below a mask lying on a dagger; on the left hand side of the scene at lower left is the emblem from the lower margin of BM Satires 2431, and on the right is that from BM Satires 2455. 1740
- Production date
Height: 272 millimetres
Width: 399 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The compositions are reversed in the case of "Heats" two, three and four, but "Heat" one is in the same direction as the original print suggesting that it was based on the copy in reverse (BM Satires 2344).
Most changes are very minor, but in "Heat" two the eagle flying above carries, in place of the sword, a tankard labelled "50£ Plate". In "Heat" three are several that are more significant: the British royal courier is now mounted backwards on his horse; the lion which is being mounted by a fox is held by an ass rather than an ape; a cord runs from Fleury's robe and passes around the necks of the lion and the ass; the ambassador is fired from the mortar head first; the birds now carry ribbons labelled, "Madrid" and "Cadis"; the dragon has been admitted. In "Heat" four, a cord links the Dutchman to the cradle in which lies a lion clutching the arrows of the United Provinces; the cellist is absent from the group outside the tent, the Queen of Spain turns her back, the fox holds a sheet of music for Fleury and there is no wolf.; a turk is seated on the elephant joining the concert on a pipe; the sailor on the distance post, now drinking from a glass with a punch bowl balanced on his lap, drops his flag to indicate that the race is over; the four umpires are no longer on pedestals but in a stand from which hangs a scroll lettered, "Britains Wone"; a sea stretches beyond the scene with headlands marked "Cuba" and "Portobello". Stephens suggests that the figure in the lower right hand corner may be Lord Gage reading his own speech, rather than Walpole who was shown in the same position in BM Satires 2455 trampling on the speech.
The print was advertised at 1s. in the London Daily Post, 20 March 1740.
The plate was reused, with alterations, for BM Satires 2423.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1984 May-Sep, London, V&A, 'Rococo in England'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number