- Museum number
- Object: The British titans.
George III, as Jove, holds a sheaf of thunderbolts and has just hurled Fox from the clouds into an abyss in which are Burke, Lord John Cavendish, and North. The king and his Ministers stand among clouds; he wears classical draperies and a crown inscribed 'Prerogative'. An eagle stretches its head angrily towards the falling Fox.
Immediately above Fox stands Pitt wearing a laurel wreath, the centre of a glory of rays, his arms outstretched in the attitude of an orator. Between Pitt and the king, his left hand on Pitt's shoulder, stands Barré, to whom Pitt had recently given the clerkship of the Pells, instead of keeping it for himself, in lieu of Barré's unpopular pension (see BMSat 6028), thereby acquiring much credit. On the king's right, directing his actions, stands Thurlow, in wig and gown. These are the most prominent of the gods in the clouds. On each side of Thurlow is a head: one (left) probably Lord Carmarthen and the other (right) Sydney (Secretaries of State). On the right (on Pitt's left) is an elderly clergyman, possibly Dean Tucker, and on the extreme right the Duke of Richmond in profile to the left.
Fox, falling through the air, is about to join his colleagues below; from his left hand drops an axe inscribed 'Faction'. Burke (left), dressed as a Jesuit (cf. BMSat 6026), stands in profile to the right, grasping a rock to which is attached a chain. He is being pushed forward by a grinning demon who kneels behind him. Lord John Cavendish crouches on the ground grasping Burke's rock; under his left hand are papers inscribed 'East India Bill' (see BMSat 6271, &c), 'Receipt Tax' (see BMSat 6243, &c). North (right) kneels grasping a large rock with both hands.
Beneath the design is inscribed:
'First Typhon strove more daring than the rest,
With impious hands the imperial bolts to wrest:
Him and his Crew the red right arm of jove,
Down to their native Hell indignant drove.' 23 February 1784
- Production date
Height: 357 millimetres
Width: 245 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
One of many satires on the contest between Pitt and Fox before the dissolution, see BMSat 6373, &c. For the popularity of the king's intervention cf. BMSat 6405, &c. Cf. BMSat 6287 (10).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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