Collection online

print study / drawing

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    The heads of George III and Pitt, much caricatured, emerge from a single neck which rests on a dish. The King's head, in profile to the left, is the larger, his wig covers both foreheads, and his cheek and ear project over the head of Pitt, who is in profile to the right. The King has a small, receding forehead, a large goggling eye, Pitt a fixed and frowning stare. Cf. BMSat 9177. 1797 Pen and black ink and watercolour


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1797
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 323 millimetres
    • Width: 279 millimetres (irregular)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Inscribed: "HEAD - AND BRAINS" and dated and inscribed by Hawkins: "1794. [crossed through with 1797 adjacent] Newton"
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
    The design was engraved and published by Newton, 5 May 1797. (A. de Rothschild collection ii. 91.)
    A copy, 'La Tête et la Cervelle', was published 'A Paris chez J. Loysel Rue du Plâtre St Jacques N° 18'. The heads are closely copied, but a realistic coat-collar replaces the dish and neck. Inscriptions have been added: 'George' and 'Pit', while the former says: "La Paix Continentale Ouf!!!"; the latter: "S'il n étoit qu'imbecile - mais fou - ahi ahi comment m'en retirerai je ?" Beneath the design: 'Portraits dessiné [sic] d'après nature au Palais de St James'. Reproduced, Broadley, ii. 26.
    The design was imitated in a print with the same title, published by Vowles, 1820, of George III and Queen Caroline ('Caricatures', xii. 159).

    (Supplementary information)
    Study for a satirical print published by Newton on 5.5.1797 (Alexander 249). The title implies that Pitt was the brains behind the King. For the French copy see Pascal Dupuy, 'Caricatures Anglaises, collections du m.Musée Carnavalet', Paris 2008, cat.40.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 9012 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British Roy PV)

  • Exhibition history

    1998 Feb-May, Manchester, Whitworth AG, Richard Newton
    2014 May-Oct, Hannover, W Busch Mus, 'Hanoverians'

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


Head and Brains; satirical representations of the heads of George III and William Pitt, facing opposite directions. 1797 Pen and black ink and watercolour


Head and Brains; satirical representations of the heads of George III and William Pitt, facing opposite directions. 1797 Pen and black ink and watercolour

Image description



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Object reference number: PDB9753

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