Collection online

The fashionable mamma, - or - the convenience of modern dress.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The fashionable mamma, - or - the convenience of modern dress.
  • Description

    A fashionably dressed woman sits (left) in profile to the right, on an upright chair, while a carriage waits for her. Her loose dress, high to the neck, has two embroidered slits to reveal the breasts. A pretty, buxom nurse holds out an infant, who eagerly sucks the breast thus conveniently laid bare. She wears a turban with two erect feathers, and short sleeves; her gloved right hand holds a closed fan. On the wall behind her is a large picture, 'Maternal Love', a seated woman suckles an infant. Through a high sash-window is seen a corner of the waiting coach, a footman holding open the door, a fat coachman on the box. The coach, hammer-cloth, and the lady's chair are decorated with a baron's coronet. A patterned carpet covers the floor. 15 February 1796
    Hand-coloured etching and stipple


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1796
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 350 millimetres
    • Width: 247 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title and, following it, "Vide, The Pocket Hole, &c.", artist's name, text within image, and publication line: "Js Gy des. et fect" and "Pubd. Feby. 15th. 1796. by H. Humphrey, New Bond Street - "
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
    The superseding of the wet-nurse was a fashion which derived from the doctrines of Rousseau; cf. BMSat 8901. See BMSat 8896, &c.
    Grego, 'Gillray', p. 209 (small copy). Wright and Evans, No. 415. Reprinted, 'G.W.G.', 1830. Reproduced, Fuchs, p. 283.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 8897 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British XVIIIc Mounted Roy)

  • Exhibition history

    2001 Jun-Sep, London, Tate Britain, 'Gillray and the Art of Caricature'
    2002 Jan-Mar, Newcastle, Hatton Gall, Followers of Fashion
    2002 Jun-Jul, Belfast, Ulster Mus, Followers of Fashion
    2002 Aug-Sep, Nottingham, Djanogly AG, Followers of Fashion
    2002/3 Dec-Feb, Brighton MAG, Followers of Fashion
    2003 Apr-Jun, Braintree District Mus, Followers of Fashion
    2005 Mar-Jun, Bath, Holburne Mus of Art, Pictures of Innocence
    2009 Jan-Mar, BM, Room 90, Love and Marriage

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat).  1796  Hand-coloured etching and stipple

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1796 Hand-coloured etching and stipple

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: PPA107277

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help