- Museum number
- Object: A British minister worshipping the meridian sun.
George III is seated (left) on a rectangular altar bending forward, his posteriors bare and irradiated like a sun. He wears a crown; he bends forward as if to caress three fanged serpents emerging from the altar, inscribed, 'The King \ of \ Prerogative'. A pair of hands emerges from clouds: one has taken the sceptre from the King's hand, the other is about to remove his crown. Pitt (right) kneels behind the altar, holding out a scroll, the 'Irish Propositions', and saying:
"Thou Sun of glory! Source of all that's great!
At whose command I rule this headstrong state,
On thee with fainting heart, for aid I call
O save thy fav'rite from untimely fall:
(No council summon'd to approve the scheme)
From our joint heads these Propositions came,
While luckless I alone, must bear the blame,
Thick & threefold petitions come to Town
Lords, - Commons, - Merchants, - all on Billy frown!!!
Behind him is a bundle of papers held together by a scroll inscribed 'Provision for the Boghouse 1785'. They are: 'Petition to the [Pa]rliament'; 'Manchester Remonstr[ance]'; 'from Glasgow'; 'Rights of the People'; 'Westminst[er] Petition'; 'Popula[r] Resentment'. Behind the bundle is a pyramid inscribed 'Sacrifices to Liberty The Gracchi', 'De Witt', 'Gaveston', 'Mortimer'; a hand pointing from the apex to Pitt is labelled, 'The next to fall'. In the distance is a ruined temple: 'Temple of Freed[om] a British ruin'. On the side of the altar on which the King is seated is a medallion surmounted with crossed axes inscribed 'Prerogative of the People'. It encloses a severed head in a bowl inscribed 'Charles I'. 5 July 1786
- Production date
Height: 228 millimetres
Width: 268 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
This reversion to the abortive Irish Propositions of 1785 (when there were many petitions against them), see BMSat 6785, &c, seems to indicate a lack of material for an attack on Pitt; the threats to the King and Pitt are clearly absurd. Probably a skit on a picture exhibited by Maria Cosway (cf. BMSat 7019) at the R.A. in 1784: 'A Persian going to adore the sun.'
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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