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A voluptuary under the horrors of digestion

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • A voluptuary under the horrors of digestion
  • Description

    The Prince of Wales, languid with repletion, leans back in an arm-chair, holding a fork to his mouth. His waistcoat is held together by a single button across his distended stomach. On his right a circular table covered with the remains of a meal, with decanters of 'Port' and 'Brandy', a castor of 'Chian'. Under the table, partly covered by the cloth, are empty wine-bottles. Behind the chair (right) a brimming chamber-pot stands on a table or commode on which are long bills: 'Poulterers Bill . . . unpaid, Butcher's Bill . . . unpaid, Baker's Bill . . . unpaid', and (on the ground) 'Doctors Bill'. In the foreground (right) lie a dice-box and dice with three books: 'Debts of Honor Unpaid', 'Newmarket List', and 'Faro Partnership Account Self Archer Hobart & Co.'
    On a shelf behind the Prince (right) is a triple stand of jelly-glasses, among which is a small pot: 'For the Piles', and a bottle: 'Drops for a Stinking Breath'. Beside it are a box of 'Leakes Pills', and a bottle of 'Velnos Vegetable Syrup' (see BMSat 7592). On the wall above is a candle-sconce with a burlesque coat of arms for the Prince: a plate with a crossed knife and fork, with his motto, coronet, and feathers; one candle is stuck in a wine-bottle, the other in a wine-glass. Above the Prince's head is a round picture in an elaborate frame inscribed 'L. Comoro, Ætat. 199 [sic]': a half length portrait of a man with a long beard drinking from a glass inscribed 'Aqua'. (Luigi Cornaro of Padua, 1467-1566, published 'Discorri della vita sobria . . .', a treatise on the means of living to extreme old age, describing the ascetic diet by which he had recovered health and vitality when in danger of death at the age of forty. Portrait by Tintoretto, Pitti Palace.) A carpet covers the floor. Through the window is seen the (unfinished) colonnade of Carlton House. 2 July 1792 Etching and stipple with hand-colouring


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1792
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 366 millimetres
    • Width: 295 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title and production lines 'Js Gy design et fecit' and 'Pub July 2nd 1792 by H.Humphrey, no.18 Old Bond Street'
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
    A companion print to BMSat 8117.
    The faro-tables of Mrs. Hobart and Lady Archer were already notorious, see BMSat 8075; it is suggested that the Prince shared in their profits. For the Prince and Newmarket see BMSat 7918, &c. For his debts see BMSat 7873, &c.
    Grego, 'Gillray', pp. 148-9 (small copy); Wright and Evans, No. 85. Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830. Reproduced, Paston, pl. clxxiii; Ashton, 'Florizel's Folly', 1899, p. 167; Fuchs, after p. 248.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 8112 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Mounted Roy)

  • Exhibition history

    1996 Sep-Nov, York, Fairfax House, 'Come Drink the Bowl Dry'

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


COMPASS Title: James Gillray, A Voluptuary under the horrors of Digestion, a print


COMPASS Title: James Gillray, A Voluptuary under the horrors of Digestion, a print

Image description



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