- Museum number
- Object: Le Congrès
The personages of the Congress of Vienna are dancing. In the centre, the Tsar, the Emperor of Austria (left), and the King of Prussia (right) dance a pas de trois, arms raised above their heads, except that Alexander holds behind his back the left hand of Francis in his left hand. He holds above his head the right hand of Frederick William. Above their heads: 'Ils balancent'. On the left of this group 'Lord Castelreagh' dances a jig, with a cane under his arm, his head in profile to the right, sourly watching the monarchs. He is clumsy, plebeian-looking, and unrecognizable; above his head: 'Il ballotte . . . [he wobbles].' On the extreme left Talleyrand watches, leaning against the wall with folded arms. Compared with the others he is somewhat flattered, and is without a club-foot, but is styled 'bien au vent'; above his head: 'Il observe.' On the right of Frederick William is the 'Roi de Saxe', full-face and pointing a toe; he wears a crown which he clutches in both hands. Above his head: 'Il danse terre-à-terre.' On the extreme right and in profile to the left is the 'République de Gênes', a woman wearing a cap like that of a doge, with a long cloak. She leaps into the air, feet together; above: 'elle Saute pour le roi de Sar daigne.' All wear flat dancing-slippers except Frederick William, who wears jack-boots with long spurs. All wear stars or ribbons or both, Castlereagh's star being of a curious pattern.
- Production date
Height: 210 millimetres
Width: 279 millimetres (trimmed)
- Curator's comments
- (Description and comment from M. Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', IX, 1949)
For the Congress see No. 12453, &c.; one of several allusions to the frequent balls (cf. the Pr. de Ligne's famous remark 'le congrès ne marche pas, il danse'). The transference of the old Republic of Genoa to Sardinia was settled by a secret clause of the First Peace of Paris (30 May 1814). Webster, 'Foreign Policy of Castlereagh', i, 1931, p. 287. The date seems after the acceptance by Alexander in January of the restoration of the King of Saxony. Talleyrand, having been admitted to the Directing Committee on 9 Jan., was more than an observer. He was called in French caricature 'Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Girouette', see "L'Homme aux 6 Têtes", pub. in 'Le Nain Jaune', 15 Apr. 1815 (reproduced, De Vinck, v. 3). Cf. No. 12521, &c.
Listed by Broadley. Hennin, No. 13 671. De Vinck, No. 9505 (a state in which Murat replaces Genoa, and with other variations).
This is a later state of 1868,0808.8200, with Murat substituted for Genoa (a state described by de Vinck).
See Jos Gabriëls, 'Cutting the cake: the Congress of Vienna in British, French and German political caricature', in the 'European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire', 2016.
- Not on display
- Associated events
- Associated Event: Congress of Vienna 1815
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number