- Museum number
- Object: A provincial deputy's maiden speech to the national assembly.
A deputy stands on a tribune in profile to the left, poised on one toe and leaning on the railing; he shouts with his ugly head thrown back, a blast issuing from his mouth. He holds his hat with his right hand under his left arm. From his pocket protrudes a document inscribed 'L'Art de la Rhétorique'. He wears a long coat reaching almost to his ankles. Heads are roughly indicated in the body of the hall, and in the gallery behind the head of the deputy, who tries to be heard above a noisy clamour. 1791
- Production date
Height: 250 millimetres
Width: 190 millimetres (cut)
- Curator's comments
- We are grateful to Miles Baynton-Williams (email July 2020) for pointing out that Grosvenor Prints had an example with a full plate mark that was inscribed above the image: 'Just Published (Engraved in a Superior Stile.) Chesterfield's Principles of Politness Exemplified, in 20 figures pr. 10/6' and below the text quoted from Challamel (as given by George): 'Published Feb 16 1791 by S.W.Fores 3 Piccadilly'.
(Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
The disorder and noise in the National Assembly impressed English visitors, cf. a letter of Lord Mornington to Grenville: 'the confusion at times surpasses all that ever has been known since government appeared in the world.' Hist. MSS. Comm., 'Dropmore Papers', i. 609.
Copy in Challamel, ii. 300, where the text below the design (apparently cut off in BMSat 7695) is quoted: 'Je dis. - Monsieur le président. - C'est à moi à parler. - Je dis. - Monsieur. - Diable! - Mon Dieu! - On ne saurait s'entendre parler. - Ecoutez-moi, je vous prie Monsieur, - Je dis. - Messieurs. - Ne vaudrait-il pas mieux que . . . - Il n'importe, je ne dis rien.'
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number