- Museum number
- Object: Old England's protector. A Cabinet Picture
Above the design: 'Angels and Ministers of Grace defend us!!!' [Hamlet]. Wellington sits enthroned on a Gothic chair surmounted by a crown and on a circular dais. He is bareheaded, dressed half in regimentals, his right breast covered with medals, half in the Windsor uniform with Garter star. In his gauntleted right hand is a sword inscribed 'England expects every Man to do his Duty', his jack-boot tramples on a paper under his right foot, inscribed 'Rights of Man'. In his left hand is a flaming torch from which rises smoke inscribed 'Discord'. Heaped against the throne to left and right are sacks: 'Treasury Bags', disgorging coin. On each arm of his throne rests a top-hatted skull, with the inscription 'warning'. From each side projects the muzzle of a cannon; on its back, below the crown, a two-headed pike projects horizontally; it is decorated with a carved fleur-de-lis, emblem of his supposed support of Bourbon reaction, see BM Satires No. 15861, &c. Behind it are draped large British flags, symmetrically arranged and inscribed 'Corrunna', 'Talavera', 'Waterloo', 'Baja[jos]', 'Vitt[oria]', 'Salamanca'. On the floor are (left) a huge fool's cap, with ass's ears (emblem of the City fiasco, see BM Satires No. 16303, &c.) and his left hand glove, a gauntlet grasping the sceptre. The throne and these objects are in an enclosure or loggia with a gothic canopy. One pillar (left) is topped by an escutcheon on which are jack-boots, and by helmet and bayonet. On the right, is an Irish harp, veiled. Behind are two statues in niches, a meretricious Justice with her scales awry (left) and a distressed female figure with a broken palm-branch. Wellington looks up to the right towards the smoke of his torch with a sinister stare; on his short grey hair are placed brown dandified curls.
Through the arches of the loggia are seen two views of London; on the left houses in the City, one on fire, dominated by the dome of St. Paul's; soldiers are about to make a bayonet charge on fleeing men, women, and children. A cap of Liberty tops a tall shaft near St. Paul's. On the right, in front of the Horse Guards, a guillotine flanked by soldiers is ready for action, the platform surrounded by dense clouds. c. May 1832
- Production date
Height: 248 millimetres
Width: 343 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', XI, 1954
A virulent attack on Wellington, characteristic of the 'Days of May', cf. Nos. 17073, 17087, 17090, 17103, 17161, 17200, but possibly earlier, see No. 15500, &c. For the fool's cap cf. also No. 15499.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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