- Museum number
Object: Op en Ondergang der Actionisten
Series: Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid
Satire on the financial crisis of 1720. An architectural structure with several images. In the centre at the top, an oval portrait of John Law holding a paper labelled "Mississippi", is held on the right by a monkey and approached from the left by a wolf holding a dead lamb in its jaw; below is a circular medallion with a horse defecating coins. Below, a view of the Tuilleries Palace appears as if in relief on the structure; in the foreground, in front of the palace, a man lies dead on the ground after a duel and his wounded opponent is carried off by three friends while a lady weeps; a paper nearby notes that Mississippi shares have been the cause; John Law's carriage is attacked by a mob in the background. Below this, a view of rue Quinquempoix (its architecture seeming more Dutch than French) appears as if in a print nailed to the structure; in the foreground, crowds of men and women try to sell shares holding papers with labels referring to Edam cheese, the South (Sea), and several Dutch towns; a woman in the foreground stands beside a wheelbarrow full of carrots from Hoorn. At the top, two further scenes are shown as if suspended by ribbons from the wall on either side of the structure: on the left, a ship stands off a shore on which stand a group of people including a boy holding a paper labelled "Zuid Goud of Wind" (South Sea Gold or Wind), a small boat is being rowed out to the ship; on the right, a team of men dig a trench while others, more elegantly dressed look on, in the background a view of a city, perhaps Utrecht. Below these scenes are two medallions, also hanging from ribbons: on the left, a wheel of fortune with men variously at the top, crushed at the bottom, rising and falling while another turns the wheel; on the right, a scene illustrating the saying "To Labour in Vain" in which three men endeavour to scrub a black man white. At bottom left, the naked fiugre of Mercury sits on the plinth resting gloomily on a bale of "wind" merchandise; at right, a ragged man is pursued by a creditor holding a book on which is written "Debit" and holding a paper suggesting that that the debtor makes off for Vianen or for the shelter of Prince Frederik Hendrik. With engraved title, lettering and verses below, in Dutch, in seven colums. 1720
- Production date
Height: 347 millimetres
Width: 385 millimetres
- Curator's comments
For Frederik Hendrik and Vianen see 1868,0808.9608.
John Law's carriage was attacked by the Parisian mob outside the Palais Royal on 17th July 1720 after the collapse of the Mississippi Scheme.
One of a collection of prints bound together in two volumes c.1721 known as 'Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid'; for more information, see 1868,0808.9602.
- Not on display
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Financial Bubbles 1720
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number