- Museum number
- Object: The mock phœnix!!! Or a vain attempt to rise again.
Napoleon emerges from the flames of a huge fire burning on the summit of a rock, on the face of which is an opening, like the door of an oven, whence issue flames and serpents. These are being stirred up by the long spear of a Cossack (right), who gazes up at Napoleon, while a sturdy Dutchman (left) plies a huge pair of bellows. The head of Napoleon is based on Gillray's 'Apotheosis of the Corsican-Phoenix', No. 11007, but as a 'Mock Phoenix', he has not the wings and body of a bird, but the body of a man, though one claw extends from the fire, dropping an orb, as in that print. His flaming crown rises from his head, as in No. 11007, but he clutches his breast with the right hand, and raises the left arm in a gesture of agonized despair; his sceptre falls into the fire. The flames and smoke have more lateral spread than in No. 11007, and are filled with demons, ranging from quasi-human devils and imps to serpents. The Dutchman, in bulky breeches, wears a large orange cockade in his hat; he looks up, the smoke from his pipe merging with that of the pyre. The Cossack is bearded, with the high furred cap of other prints. The scene is a plateau surrounded by rocky peaks.
10 December 1813.
- Production date
Height: 255 millimetres
Width: 352 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
One of the many prints exulting at the victories, see No. 12114, in which the liberation of Holland (invaded by Cossacks), see No. 12102, takes a prominent part.
Grego, 'Rowlandson', ii. 262. Listed by Broadley. De Vinck, No. 8846 Van Stolk, No. 6273.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number