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- Object: The real cause of the present high-price of provisions, or, a view on the sea coast of England, with French agents, smuggling away supplies for France'.
'French Agents' purchase sheep, cattle, and pigs, which are being driven into boats to be taken to a French ship at anchor. Fox, as the commissary general, stands in profile to the left, holding a bag of 'French Gold' and pouring coins into the hand of the stout and smiling Lansdowne who is dressed as a farmer, and is disposing of a flock of sheep (left). Sheridan stands on Fox's right, clutching a money-bag and gazing fixedly at Lansdowne. Behind them is the taller Grey. These three are fashionably dressed, especially Fox who wears a French cocked hat, long overcoat reaching to his heels, over a frogged coat. The other two wear long coats and bonnets-rouges, with half-boots. Behind them stands their clerk, Erskine, a sansculotte wearing sabots and a bonnet-rouge, with barrister's wig and bands. He writes: 'Republican Purchase'.
In the foreground (left) the Duke of Bedford, dressed as a farmer, but wearing fashionable spurred top-boots, sits, complacently counting money, on a sack of 'Superfine Bedfordshire Flour for Paris' (cf. BMSat 8783). Beside him (left) are sacks of 'Fine Bedfordshire Flour' labelled 'For Dieppe' and 'For Ostend'. Behind them and in the middle distance the Duke of Norfolk walks to the right, carrying on his head a steaming dish of 'Norfolk Dumplings'. Near him is the Duke of Grafton driving cattle towards the shore. On the right is a boat containing pigs and a cow. Stanhope sits at the tiller, smoking. He wears a bonnet-rouge with a bag-wig. The boat has a furled sail and flies a tricolour flag inscribed 'Vive la Republique'. Another boat-load of cattle is being rowed towards the French ship.
In the foreground is a basket of chickens and geese and a bundle of muskets, across which is a tricolour scroll inscribed 'Provision for French Army. Dissenting Manufacture'. 11 May 1795
- Production date
Height: 309 millimetres
Width: 424 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
The Opposition are classed as either French agents (the four commoners) or treacherous supporters of France (the five peers). Grafton owes his position to his attitude towards peace proposals. For the high price of provisions see BMSat 8665, &c.
Grego, 'Gillray', p. 188 (reproduction). Wright and Evans, No. 122. Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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