- Museum number
- Object: Explication.No.1 Gouvernement Anglais, No.2 l'Anglois né libre.
A monster with a flayed body and the head of a demon is 'N° 1' (the English Government). He strides forward in profile to the left, turning his ferocious face to the spectator. He has serpents for hair, wears a (French) crown, has small webbed wings, and talons on hands and feet. He grasps with both hands a pole planted in the ground, and formed of a trident, a sceptre, a cross, a dove. Round his shoulders hangs a ribbon with the order of the Saint-Esprit. His posteriors are formed of the head of 'Georges Roi d'Angleterre' in profile to the right; from the mouth issue smoke and thunderbolts inscribed: 'Impôts sur le Jour, Impôts sur la Terre, Impôts sur la Nouriture, Impôts sur les Vetemens, Impôts sur l'Air, Impôts sur l'Eau.' These are directed against a group of plainly dressed young men, some of whom have been thrown to the ground while others flee to the right. They are 'N° 2', the free-born Englishman. On the extreme left, behind the monster, is a pile of bales and barrels inscribed 'Impôts'. Beneath the design:
Ce Gouvernement est représenté sous la figure d'un Diable écorché tout vif, accaparant le Commerce et revétu de toutes les décorations Royal, le Portrait du Roi se trouve au derriere du Gouvernement lequel vomit sur son Peuple une multitude d'Impôts avec lesquelles il lefoudroye. Cette prérogative est attaché au Sceptre et à la Couronne.' May 1794
- Production date
Height: 335 millimetres
Width: 445 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
One of two prints presented by David to the Committee of Public Safety on 18 May 1794, see BMSat 8462.
Blum, No. 605.
Commissioned from David by the Committee of Public Safety. On 27 March 1794 David presented to the Committee 'two caricatures of his composition, one showing an army of jugs, commanded by George, led by a turkey [BMSat 8462], the other representing the English government in the form of a wild and horrible figure, dressed in all his royal insignia'. On 18 May 1794 it ordered 1000 impressions, 500 in black and 500 coloured, of each print, at a total cost of 3000 livres. See Claudette Hould 'La propagande de l'état par l'estampe durant la terreur' in Michel Vovelle (ed.), 'Les images de la Révolution française', Paris 1988 pp.29-37.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1987 Sep-Nov, London, NG, 'Acquisitions in Focus'
1989 May-Sep, BM, Shadow of the Guillotine: Britain and French Revolution, cat.155b
1990 Jan-Mar, Manchester, Whitworth AG, Britain and French Revolution
1990 Jun-Sep, Vizille, Mus/Rev Francaise, Britain and French Revolution
2001 Jun-Sep, London, Tate Britain, 'Gillray and the Art of Caricature', no.82b
2004-2005 Jul-Jan, London, Tate Britain, Art and National Identity
- Associated events
- Associated Event: French Revolution 1794
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number